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Bahamas pig bites captain

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While in Big Major Cay over the Christmas holiday, Capt. Michael Crosby took two teenage guests to shore to feed the pigs, as he has done many times before.

“We are all well versed in proper behavior when dealing with the pigs,” he said.

They know to toss the food and not let the animals eat from their hands. They keep their distance and don’t engage the animals.

On this day, they chose an area where just a few pigs were, far from where the majority of the pigs and their  babies were, he said.

Capt. Michael Crosby

Capt. Michael Crosby

Two of the oldest and largest pigs came toward them, acting aggressively, Capt. Crosby said. He took the bag of food from the guests and walked slowly backward toward the tender in about knee-deep water.

Suddenly, one of the pigs nudged him in the belly, then lunged at him and bit him.

“This was the first time in all my years going there that I have ever experienced or heard of any such incident (unless, of course, it was deserved by bad behavior on the part of the person being bitten),” Capt. Crosby said. “Thankfully, I was the one bitten and not one of the kids.”

One of the guests tossed food away from the tender and the pigs chased that, giving Capt. Crosby a chance to regroup. He figures the pig weighed 400-500 pounds.

“There’s nothing that we were doing that was aggressive,” he said. “I know of a guy who got bit on the leg but that’s because he tried to get on the pig and ride it. He deserved it. But we were not teasing them. This was not the fault of the bitee; it was the biter.”

Back onboard, he cleaned the wound – two gashes that match the pig’s front teeth – and began a round of antibiotics. A few weeks later, he was still red and sore, but not infected.

“I was just thankful it was me and not one of the [guests]. If that was her who got bit or, God forbid, a little kid with food in his hand, that pig could have taken the hand. … I just want people to know this can happen. They will bite.”

Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments welcome at lucy@the-triton.com.

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One thought on “Bahamas pig bites captain

  1. Mate Linda Besk

    I read this article [“Captain gets bitten taking guests to see the pigs at Big Majors,” page A5, February issue] with interest. I have been there many times and have noticed a change in the habits of the humans, not so much of a change in pig behavior.

    Pigs are pigs. When on land, they are just pigs looking for food. The only distinction between these particular pigs and the pigs on any farm are the fact that these pigs have learned to swim for their food.

    One of my jobs when visiting my grandparents was to “slop the pigs,” which meant you took leftovers to them. Not once did we ever consider stepping into their environment with food to feed them. They are undomesticated animals, and hungry to boot.

    When I started seeing tourists beach their boats to feed the pigs, I was amazed as the pigs were not swimming out to earn their keep. They were becoming lazy pigs who expected to be fed on land and were losing their uniqueness as “swimming pigs.” I really did not understand why anyone would take the time to cruise to Big Majors only to beach their boat and feed the “swimming pigs” on land, thus missing the whole point of the attraction.

    Although I feel bad that this captain got chomped, I do admire him for admitting his folly, which caused the chomping. It clearly shows an error in judgment of not staying in his boat and not allowing the swimming pigs to be exactly that … swimming.

    A lesson learned I hope for future visitors to Big Majors beach. Perhaps it needs a sign saying “Do not feed the pigs on the beach. Make them swim out to your boat. They need the exercise.”

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