Giant stingray ready to back to the wild.

Following the deaths of over 50 giant freshwater stingrays in the Mae Klong River in October, the sole survivor of those rescued is to be returned to its natural habitat.

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.

Both giant freshwater stingrays were recovering and in good condition after intensive treatment for sicknesses related to water pollution. However, both were kept at the centre as officials were worried that the water quality in the river was still too poor for them to survive.

Kobsak said a veterinarian team from Kasetsart University had confirmed that the death of Mae Nongpho was caused by an infection in her blood system related to an unexpected miscarriage.

By Juninho