NATION
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Got a shark problem?

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WORLD
If you give a pig a drink ...

Claim: Bahamas' swimming pigs killed by tourists feeding them rum

We know pigs can't fly, but they sure as hell can swim.

What they can't seem to do is hold their liquor.

The Washington Post reports a mysterious wave of deaths recently struck Big Major Cay, the uninhabited Bahamas island famous for its tourist-friendly swimming pigs.

Aren't they cuties? (Wikimedia Commons)

Up to half of the pig colony died and the bodies were tossed into the sea, according to reports. Early investigations could not identify an explicit cause of death.

Wayde Nixon, a Bahamas man who brought the pigs to the island decades ago, suggested that tourists killed the animals with a lethal diet. With unrestricted access to the pigs, visitors had been seen giving the animals junk food as well as booze.

"We had the government vet in there [and] examined them all thoroughly," Nixon told the Nassau Guardian. Seven or eight pigs died, he said, leaving about 15 alive. The ones that survived appeared to be healthy.

Kim Aranha, president of Bahamas Humane Society, indicated to the Nassau-based newspaper Tribune 242 that there were fewer pigs remaining on the island than initially reported.

"It's really a mystery as to what killed these beautiful animals. I believe most of the carcasses were in the ocean," Aranha told the Tribune. "It could just be a horrible accident where they ate something poisonous. It could be malicious but I don't really see why someone would go out of their way to hurt those lovely animals."

Part of the Exuma island chain, Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, is in the Caribbean Sea to the southeast of Nassau. Until the deaths, the cay had been billed as a sort of porcine paradise. The pigs dog-paddled through the crystal sea, drank from the island's spring of fresh water and got fat on a steady supply of food brought by tourists, who visited the island by the boatload.

But selfie-happy tourists were not the only indignities that the four-legged residents survived in recent years. The pig colony endured an invasion of bikini-clad reality show contestants during an episode of "The Bachelor."

The pigs had a brief cameo in the 2013 music video for "Timber," the Pitbull dance-pop number featuring Ke$ha.

Fueled by celebrity visits, a feature on NBC's "Today" show and a beach made for Instagram, the pigs' popularity expanded.