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Swimming Pigs ‘Died From Ingesting Sand Material’

The swimming pigs of Exuma are world renowned as a Bahamas tourist attraction

The swimming pigs of Exuma are world renowned as a Bahamas tourist attraction

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunmedia.net

EXUMA’S swimming pigs died from ingesting “sand material,” according to Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries V Alfred Gray.

In an interview with reporters outside the Cabinet Office yesterday, Mr Gray said according to a report by the chief veterinary officer attached to his ministry, an autopsy performed on some of the animals revealed that the pigs had “a good amount of sand” in their stomachs.

More than a half a dozen of the swimming pigs were found dead under mysterious circumstances more than a week ago.

The majority of the pigs, believed to be around 15, are still alive. According to reports in a local daily earlier this month, the owners of the pigs believe the animals died after being fed “rum, beer and the wrong food”.

Yesterday, Mr Gray said blood samples from the pigs have been sent off to labs to determine if any other factors could have led to the death of the prized animals.

“The report is in place, I have not had the chance to digest the total contents of it but I am satisfied that the pigs died from ingestion of sand material,” Mr Gray said.

“As you know some people feed the pigs as they swim in the water, other people throw things on the sand for them to eat from the sand. You know sand is indigestible, sand cannot be digested, and the autopsy which was performed on one or two of the animals showed that they had a good amount of sand in their stomach.

“Sand not being able to be passed out by normal processes or digested had something to do with those animals having died.

“They died because of that kind of ingestion. That’s the conclusion the veterinarian drew from his autopsy. We’ve sent blood samples off to labs to be tested to see whether there is any other contributing factor but to him that was the main cause, preliminarily found to have affected the lives of those animals.”

Mr Gray said his ministry, along with the Ministry of Tourism and the owners of the pigs, are putting protocols in place to ensure the surviving pigs are only fed by hand.

“If you want to swim with the pigs that’s fine, but we believe that feeding them is going to be a problem because we cannot control people giving them beers and wine and all kinds of things which you know animals cannot digest like humans do,” Mr Gray said.

“So if we put a rope up around a certain area you can go and swim with the pigs and take photographs. That’s what it was intended to be, but people have taken the liberty to feed them and the worst part is when they throw the food on the sand, the animals will eat it. But when they eat the food, they also ingest sand material which is not good for the animals, and hence we’re having some problems.”

Mr Gray reassured the public that things will get back to normal on the island “in the shortest possible time”.

Comments

John 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Can you believe anything this man says?

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asiseeit 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe if you are one of his cronys but what he says to the Nation is pure lies straight from a supposed man of gods mouth. On top of that he is about as smart as a cracker jack box.

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sp1nks 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It's also time that the government invests in protections for the pigs as a tourist attraction. There should be daily checks by park rangers (or equivalent) to ensure that they have fresh water, appropriate feed, and veterinary care, if necessary. If there is bad weather, or loss of interest, do the pigs even eat? We live with an island culture, but can afford to be humane with a common-sense approach to the animals around us.

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TalRussell 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Comrades! I will need a more scientific source on how the pigs digestive system operates - before I will listen to BAMSI's "Banana Man's" V. Alfred.
I say just leave the remaining 15 swimming pigs along to let them eat the sand - cause they probably know their digestive system's tolerance better than BAMSI's "Banana Man's" V. Alfred.
Sweet Lord Jesus, Forget the swimming pigs deaths, V. Alfred is making me want to go question the accuracy of autopsy reports from the PMH's morgue doctors, performed on humans?

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proudloudandfnm 4 months, 3 weeks ago

After 20 years on that beach????

I don't think so...

Why would Gray put this idiocy out there?

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TalRussell 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Comrade Proudloudandfnm, I thinks BAMSI's "Banana Man's" V. Alfred is hoping to avoid a 2017 General Election distraction - "PigsGate".

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concernedcitizen 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The pond the pigs drink from on land was dry b/c of lack of rain .The pigs ingest some salt water swimming therefore need to consume a lot of water . Water should of been provided .There are now tubs of water .This a bunch of nonsense from Gray. I have seen the pigs take food from the sand and rinse it by the shore to get the sand off ..This is pure BS always trying to blame foreigners for our mess ups . .

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killemwitdakno 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Although feeding from tossed food may be new, they have survived there for decades.

Also, a study shows wild pigs wash their food. How does every animal not die from too much dirt injestion?
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151023-wild-boar-pigs-wash-food-animals-behavior-science/

Are we sure it wasn't a vaccination attempt?

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killemwitdakno 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Signs of when horses have too much sand http://www.sand-colic.com/wp/information-on-sand-colic/what-is-sand-colic/

If you really want to know exactly how much sand is present in your horse’s bowels.

Would have to X-ray the pigs periodically. It seems like there's special feed for this. Usually, specialists provide the pigs with anti-inflammatories, fluids, and electrolytes for colic. http://www.stanceequine.com/health-solutions-feeds-and-feeding-for-sand-colic

Sand Impaction

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killemwitdakno 4 months, 3 weeks ago

If Hray can't get this right, he can't be entrusted with BAMBSI's goats.

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killemwitdakno 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Four dogs were treated surgically for their impaction and four dogs were managed medically. Seven of the eight dogs survived.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20137006/

Let's hear the signs, especially over those 3 days in care , and more on the way forward and in the event of emergency for the rare kind.

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