The Mae Klong (Thai: แม่น้ำแม่กลอง, RTGS: Maenam Mae Klong, Thai pronunciation: [mɛ̂ːnáːm mɛ̂ː klɔ̄ːŋ]), sometimes spelled Mae Khlong or Meklong, is a river in western Thailand. The river begins at the confluence of the Khwae Noi or Khwae Sai Yok and the Khwae Yai River or Khwae Si Sawat in Kanchanaburi, passes Ratchaburi Province and empties into the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Songkhram Province.
In the 1960s the upper stretch of the river to the town of Kanchanaburi was renamed Khwae Yai (แควใหญ่, big tributary), as the famous Bridge on the River Kwai spanned the Mae Klong and not the Khwae (Kwai) river. However the actual origin of the river is in the Tenasserim Hills, around the Khuean Srinagarindra National Park area in the north of Kanchanaburi Province.
It feeds the giant Umphang Thee Lor Sue Waterfall in its upper reaches.
Giant freshwater stingrays have inhabited the river for years. A sudden die-off of 45 animals in September 2016 may threaten them with local extinction. Authorities suspected that pollution was the cause of the die-off. It was later attributed to molasses waste water which leaked from a sugar/ethanol factory in Ban Pong District of Ratchaburi Province on 30 September that continued until 7 October. High levels of free ammonia killed the animals. The waste water was have been reused by farms and not discharged into the environment. The Pollution Control Department will sue Rajburi Ethanol Co for allowing molasses wastewater to leak.
- Rujivanarom, Pratch (13 October 2016). "Authorities told to tackle water pollution to prevent deaths of aquatic animals". The Nation. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Giant stingrays in Thailand's Mae Klong River facing extinction". Straits Times. THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Atthakor, Ploenpote (7 October 2016). "Alarm over dead stingrays in Mae Klong River". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Howard, Brian Clark (10 November 2016). "70 Car-Size Stingrays Die Mysteriously". National Geographic. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
- "Tests prove ethanol plant leak killed giant stingrays". Bangkok Post. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
- Atthakor, Ploenpote (19 October 2016). "Environment loses as rays of hope dim" (Editorial). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
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- The Life at Mae Klong River Thailand
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