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Massive 26ft manta ray caught off the coast of Peru

Fishermen in Peru got a "big" surprise over the weekend when they caught a massive manta ray while fishing in waters just off the country’s north-west coast.

The giant creature which measured a staggering 26ft, is said to have swum into the fishermen’s net near Caleta La Cruz on Saturday.

The fishermen initially attempted to to load the 1.1 tonne fish onto their wooden fishing boat but were unable to due to the ray’s size.

Eric Cruz, who was part of the crew that brought the fish to shore, told local media that his crew attempted to “pick the ray up” but it became so entangled in the net that they were unable to get it on board. He said: “We had to tie the manta ray to the side of the boat and lift the anchor.

“As it was dead we took opportunity to bring it back.”

A crane was then used to lift the ray back onto the beach before local residents and Peruvian press took photographs.

Kelly Cruz Cumpen, 25, who captured the enormous creature and posted it onto social media, said that she had “never seen anything like it.”

She said: “When they pulled it out of the water it was dripping with blood. It was very sad to see. It is such a beautiful creature.”

In the past, manta rays were largely feared by Peruvians due to their size and the belief by fishermen and sailors that they sank boats.

However these myths were dispelled studies on the manta rays in the 1970s found that they were largely docile and harmless to humans.

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