May 2019 Volume 15

Can Pigs Swim?

Michael O. Walters
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Growing up in Jamaica, I have always heard that pigs can’t swim. Well, not quite like that but that if they swam their front legs would cut their throat, hence by deduction I believed that pigs would not swim, or the very least, attempt it only once before transcending to “hog heaven”. Although I am a KC Old Boy who lived in Kingston, I also lived in Clarendon and Manchester and am not sure if the belief that pigs can’t swim is from Kingston, the Country, or Island wide. Of the Jamaicans I spoke to recently, some seem to have heard of it but some have not.

In February, I learned differently as I saw pigs swimming (Photo_Pigs_swimming) in the sea when I visited the Exuma islands in the Bahamas. These pigs are feral and live on a small uninhabited island.

There are different stories as to how the pigs got there, but one thing for sure, as I witnessed, is that they swim out to meet arriving boats knowing that they will receive handouts from the passengers.

Now that I learned that pigs do in fact swim, I wondered why I grew up thinking they could not swim so I proceeded to do a little internet research. I did not have to look very far as the link below provided many examples of swimming pigs historically .

Furthermore, it also debunked to “cutting throat” theory which apparently is not of Jamaican origin. The pigs in Exuma not only swim for handouts, but apparently enjoy a dip in the sea after laying around on the pristine white sand beaches of the Bahamas.

The link below contains vides of pigs swimming. At least one of the videos shows the underwater movement of the legs and feet and it is noted that the front feet do not even come closed to the throat and making the potential for cutting the throat improbable.

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