River Monsters : Season 5 – Episode 5 “Colombian Slasher” Recap

We are already at episode 5 of River Monsters, Season 5. This episode is titled “Colombian Slasher” and based on that alone I have to guess it will be about a Ray of some sort. Jeremy has traveled to Colombia for this episode. He is there to investigate the death of a woman who was wading in shallow water. She was attacked by something and pulled out into the river, later to be found dead. I can personally tell based on this info alone that it is a large ray but the episode takes a few twists and turns to make you wonder.

Jeremy visits a local fish market as he has in the past many times. It features a wide array of local fish as usual, many I’d like to keep in fish tanks myself. He also talks with numerous locals about the tale and asks about fishing in the area. He fishes at a few different locations and struggles badly with Piranhas. They keep stealing his bait and making it impossible to catch anything else. He does catch two smaller rays, one of which was a Motoro stringray (Click here to see my old Motoro Ray). He tested the rays ability to attack by holding a hunk of meat behind the barb. The Ray (even when out of water) lunged the barb firmly into the hunk of meat. This was truly amazing to see, they have the ability to drive that poisonous barb deep into flesh. This basically seals the deal that they can and will attack when threatened. He also lands some small catfish while fishing for his monster but nothing to write home about.

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Motoro Ray at a Public Aquarium

Jeremy then speaks with some more people about the incident and is finally able to gather the clue he needed. It was explained to him when the woman’s body was found it had a single puncture would. The sure sign of a Stingray attack. He was also told of another story where a small boy was stuck with a stingray barb while wading in shallow water, he too was killed by the attack. They knew his attacker for sure because it was still attached by the barb when they pulled him out of the water.

He heads back to fishing where he lands a giant. This is no small fish and he battles with it for a very long time. As the fish finally begins to tire and come up from the bottom his rod snaps. As expected the show heads to commercial and leaves you wondering if the line broke. Could he possibly lose another monster ray to a broken rod like in a past season? Well this time he got lucky. The line didn’t break. So like any true monster fisherman, he pulled it in by hand. What came up was a massive freshwater (Discus Ray -Paratrygon aiereba) stingray. He pulled it to shore and admired the beast for a moment before releasing it back into the river. Looking at the size of the ray it was quite clear they could drag a person down under the right circumstances.

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Jeremy Wade with the Giant Discus Ray (Paratrygon aiereba)

Next Sunday’s episode is titled “Vampires of the Deep” and was filmed in the USA.

If you’d like to check out some video from this episode, just click here.

8 Comments

  • Liam McGrath says:

    Kind of odd how they didn’t mention the name of this species in the episode. It is a Discus Ray (Paratrygon aiereba) if anyone was wondering. Very little is actually known about this species, it doesn’t even have a wikipedia article. Anyway that is a really impressive catch, probably the largest discus ray ever caught on film.

    • TankTerrors says:

      Great information as usual Liam. I was wondering about the scientific name myself as I didn’t hear him mention it either. I added the information to the post. I assume little is known because they go out of their way to not catch them. I bet they reach some pretty hefty sizes because of that too, unlike other species which are fished way to heavily. Makes you wonder how big of a Discus Ray might be out there…

      • Turtle Tan says:

        Are you sure it is a Discus Ray? In Wikipedia, it is stated that it is a Thorny River Stingray or Potamotrygon constellata. Also, according to http://www.fishbase.us/Country/CountryList.php?ID=50646&GenusName=Paratrygon&SpeciesName=aiereba, DIscus Rays are not found in Colombia.

        • Liam McGrath says:

          Thorny River Stingrays just aren’t big enough to be the fish Jeremy caught. The largest Thorny Stingray record I have found was only 22 lbs and 24 in. The stingray Jeremy caught was far larger and Discus Rays have been known to reach that size. Even if it was a freak world record, the color pattern on Jeremy’s ray matched exactly to that of a Discus Ray, while the Thorny River Stingray has distinct squiggly black line markings and a humped spiny back. Just want to note also, very little is known about the biodiversity of the Amazon, especially in its remote and murky waters. The wiki page has also been known to have been wrong before if that’s where your getting your information from. They once listed the large Piranhas Jeremy caught on the Parana River as Speckled Piranhas when Jeremy in fact said they are a strain of Yellow Red-Bellied Piranhas. They’re called Ternetzis in the aquarium world if I’m not mistaken.

        • Liam McGrath says:

          The color patterns and size matched more with the Discus Ray than the Thorny River Stingray. Like Jeremy’s catch, the Discus Ray has interchanging yellow and brown blotches, a small tail, and a flat body. However, the Thorny River Stingray is yellow with squiggly black markings and a humped back with spikes. Discus Rays have also been recorded up to 100 pounds while Thorny River Stingrays only go up to about 20 lbs. Given that how little is known about the Discus Ray, its range is also likely to be much larger than it is currently known to be. Just want to note along with that, if you’re getting your information from the wiki page, just warning its been wrong before. Once Jeremy caught a subspecies of Red-Bellied Piranha on the Parana River in Argentina, but the wiki page called them Speckled Piranhas even though Jeremy said himself they are a kind of Red-Bellied Piranha.

      • Turtle Tan says:

        Actually, Jeremy knows the discus ray, according to his book, River Monsters True Stories about the One who didn’t get Away.

        • L!am McGrath says:

          Sorry, repeat. I didn’t see the post the first time so I had to reword it but it seems the first response posted along with the second anyway.

  • Turtle Tan says:

    So, what do you think is bigger of two of Jeremy’s catches: The Chucho de rio or the Short-tailed River Ray , or The Discus Ray?

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