Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin was on hand to witness the whole thing and snapped a photo of it.
The stingray (Himantura polylepis or H. chaophraya) was 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) across and 14 feet (4.3 meters) long and weighed at approximately 800 pounds (318 to 363 kilograms), was caught in Thailand’s Mae Klong River last week. It’s the largest stingray ever observed by researchers.
The team was unable to get an exact weight because “it’s really hard to weigh these things without hurting them, because they are such big, awkward animals,” says Zeb Hogan, a National Geographic fellow and a professor of biology at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Certainly [this] was a huge fish, even compared to other giant freshwater stingrays, and definitely ranks among the largest freshwater fish in the world,” he says.
However, this was actually not the first time that scientists have encountered this animal. It was first caught back in 2009 as part of a National Geographic expedition that aimed to identify and protect the world’s largest freshwater fish. The ray was caught and released on January 28 of that year, but before letting the animal go, scientists attached an electronic tag and performed a brief examination, which revealed that she was pregnant.
Giant freshwater stingrays, on the other hand, are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, in part due to pollution, oil spills, and dams that have fragmented their habitat.
These rays are decreasing rapidly since there is no national law to protect them,” Nantarika says.
But, surprisingly, after giving the animal an ultrasound scan this time around, scientists found that she was once again pregnant with two fetuses.
Hence, this area of Thailand’s river proves of being a good nursery ground for these animals.
via National Geographic