Moul Thun knew the giant stingray hooked on the end of his line was bigger than any fish he had ever seen. What the 42-year-old fisherman from Koh Preah, a remote island in the Mekong River, in northern Cambodia, didn’t know was that the ray would eventually be named the largest recorded freshwater fish in the world.
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For Zeb Hogan, who’s been documenting large freshwater fishes for almost two decades, the discovery of the ray, which was released alive back into the river, filled him with hope.
“It proves these underwater leviathans, which are in critical danger, still exist,” says Hogan, a fish biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a National Geographic Explorer.