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Searching for legendary mermaids in the Malaysian rainforest

Many players have to dig deep into the Malaysian rainforest to find the Tapah Catfish, an extremely rare type of monster.

The Tapah catfish is locally known as the mystical fish, which can weigh up to 100 kg. However, few people manage to hunt this fish, according to Star.

Partick Erler, a Zimbabwean who lived in Malaysia for 12 years, took almost a decade to catch a Tapah. He used to go to many places in Malaysia to find this fish. While fishing in the rainforest of eastern Malaysia, Erler caught a 50kg Tapah fish.

Tapah is a common species, but large tapahs are now very rare. They are almost extinct due to water pollution caused by logging and overfishing.

The Malaysian people have transmitted many stories about the encounter with the great Tapah. Some people said they saw Tapah fish jump out of the water to bounce off tall branches to catch baby monkeys. In Sabah and Sarawak, Tapah fish are said to swallow children and adults bathing in rivers. The legend of the Tapah fish has been passed down from the people living along the river from year to year.

Last month, a fisherman from Sarawak caught a 56 kg Tapah fish. Three years ago, a fish weighing 93 kg was also caught by fisherman Felda Zulkifli in Pekan, Pahang. It took Zulkifli two hours to fight and bring the fish back to land. In both cases, the Tapah fish were sold.

However, Erler decided to let go of a wild fish that he was having trouble catching. Before that, Erler spent 30 minutes struggling to catch the fish with a small fishing line.

Erler jumped into the water to take a photo with the fish, tagged it with the Malaysian Freshwater Wildlife Management System, and released it back into the wild. This gives the fish a chance to breed and reproduce, Erler said.

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