Rare guitarfish rescued after being found stranded in river at Pak Nam Pran


A rare guitarfish, a marine species close to extinction, was discovered stranded at the mouth of the Pran River early on Tuesday morning. Alert locals and officials banded together to safely return the fish to the sea.

The event was documented by bystanders as a combined effort of the Pak Nam Pran disaster prevention and mitigation team, villagers, and Mr. Promsing Singhsenee, a known volunteer marine environment conservator in Pranburi. The guitarfish, measuring over 2 meters and weighing approximately 80 kilograms, was found in distress, unable to navigate beyond a sand dune.

Mr. Akrapol Wongnoi, secretary of the Pak Nam Pran subdistrict head, recounted the morning’s events. He mentioned that around 7:30 a.m., locals initially mistook the guitarfish for a common shark. They reported its presence, noting it was stranded starting from an area marked by three palm trees. Upon closer inspection, the true nature of the creature was realized.

Considering the fish’s substantial size and evident exhaustion – likely from being stranded since nighttime, perhaps after chasing prey – its rescue posed a significant challenge. It is believed that the decreasing tide may have contributed to its unexpected beaching. However, as the tide rose, locals attempted to aid the fish in overcoming the sand ridge. The task required the strength of about four individuals and spanned over two hours, but the collective effort eventually saw the guitarfish safely back into deeper waters.

For the unacquainted, the guitarfish exhibits features resembling both sharks and rays. With a lineage tracing back to the early Jurassic period, they inhabit warm and tropical waters globally, from North America to Northern Australia.