Single surviving giant stingray to be released back into Mae Klong River

The Nation

The last surviving giant freshwater stingray of those rescued after the mass deaths of more than 50 of the rare fish in the Mae Klong River in October will be returned to its natural habitat this month.

The stingray, nicknamed “Mae Buaban”, is being kept at the Samut Songkhram Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre. Authorities say it will be released back into the river when the water quality improves to a safe level and the Fisheries Department officially allows the release.

“We just lost ‘Mae Nongpho’, another giant freshwater stingray, which died on February 13 due to a miscarriage. We also found that Mae Buaban had also lost her babies too, so we have no reason to keep it,” said centre director Kobsak Khetmuan.

“We wrote a letter to the Fisheries Department to ask for permission to return it to the river, as the water quality is now safe. After we receive a letter from the department, we will consult with the provincial governor and people in the province to set up a time and place for releasing the stingray back into the river this month.”

In October last year, more than 50 giant freshwater stingrays were found dead in the Mae Klong River and its tributaries in Samut Songkhram. Only two pregnant giant freshwater stingrays were saved and taken to the centre for treatment.

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