Get a load of this giant mekong catfish, an iconic dweller of Asian waterways.
The nickname “royal fish” doesn’t get tossed around easily, but in the case of a giant Mekong catfish, it’s rather fitting.
Researchers from the University of Nevada marked the first reported catch in Cambodia this year of the elusive giant catfish, according to Department of Fisheries officials in Phnom Penh.
“At just under 7 feet in length, the catfish was larger than any catfish that has been caught in the U.S. in the last 100 years,” said Zeb Hogan, a research assistant professor in the University’s College of Science and host of Nat Geo WILD’s Monster Fish show.
The huge fish was tagged and released as part of a research and conservation project supported by the Cambodian Department of Fisheries, the University of Nevada, Reno and National Geographic.
“This is really extraordinary,” said Hogan. “It confirms that this incredibly rare and critically endangered freshwater species still occurs in Cambodia and it is still making its annual spawning migration out of the Tonle Sap Lake and into the Mekong River.”