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Car-Sized Stingray Caught In River Outside Of Bangkok

While we see massive Mekong giant catfish pulled from the rivers around Saigon every few months, scientists in Thailand have one-upped us with this enormous stingray that may be the largest freshwater fish ever documented.

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Found in Mae Klong River an hour outside of Bangkok earlier this month, the ray (Himantura polylepis or H. chaophraya) in question is 2.4 meter across, 4.3 meters long and weighs an estimated 318 – 363kg, reports National Geographic.

The team was unable to determine the exact weight as “it's really hard to weigh these things without hurting them, because they are such big, awkward animals,” said 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 said. 

Though freshwater stingrays are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to a lack of protection laws, they are faring better than the Mekong giant catfish that are easier to catch and have a strong market, fetching up to US$16,000.

However, while the rays may be able to avoid the lures of fishermen, pollution, oil spills and dams have fragmented their habitat.

On a bright note, the massive stingray was found to be pregnant, giving researchers hope that the species can endure.

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