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THAILAND (MEDIA GENERAL) – They knew it was big, but had no idea just how big! Animal adventurer, Jeff Corwin, and Thailand researchers worked together to catch, release and study massive stingray. They caught three giants and one of them ended up being 800 pounds, and pregnant.
Corwin described the catch to us, “The battle lasted for hours, with many guys working the rod and reel ‘till the giant was finally secured. Exhaustion, coupled with elation was amongst the entire team.”
Corwin was working with Dr. Nantarika Chansue and fishsiam.com fishermen to secure the fish. They used 300 pound test lines and before catching the big one, they had another break a line and get away.
The team had set out a number of baited lines to lure the fish over a few days. They strategically worked two rivers while timing the tides.
“I’ll never forget the strain on by back, legs and arms, all of us experienced this and we were soaked with sweat. When I was wiped then someone would take my place, basically it took 5 guys to wrangle up one sting ray!” Corwin said.
Before being released, it was discovered that the giant stingray was pregnant. Great news for the species. The ray was kept for a day and during that time the team discovered the ray was a recapture from six years ago. It already had an implanted microchip. That makes it the first recapture of a giant freshwater stingray ever, according to Corwin. And, it lets researchers understand how quickly they can grow. Genetic samples were taken to study the fish and it was equipped with an electronic tracking device before being let go.
Corwin’s video team was there for all the action and it will be featured on an upcoming episode of Ocean Mysteries that airs on ABC.