When two rare fish outgrew the tank in Tracy Morgan's home, the East Idaho Aquarium stepped in to take care of them.
The comedian and "30 Rock" star donated two platinum alligator gar to the aquarium earlier this month. He was connected to the small Idaho Falls outfit by a former employee of East Idaho Aquarium who is now working for a New York City company that takes care of private fish tanks. Aquarium director Arron Faires said the group was happy to house the two fish that arrived last week.
"Taking in a celebrity fish like these is cool, but we're taking care of them just like any other fish," Faires said.
A People Magazine photoshoot from 2019 shows the gar living in a tank built under the pool table in Morgan's New Jersey home.
Alligator gar are the largest predatory fish in the Mississippi River, with fully-grown fish measuring six to eight feet long. The fish can regularly live for 50 years and are able to survive in especially shallow water by breathing air.
Gar were considered a nuisance species to smaller fish until the 1980s when they began receiving protection from different states. Arkansas and Kentucky list the gar as an endangered species within the state, while Texas and Alabama allow for limited sport fishing of the predators. Despite their size and prominent rows of teeth, wildlife agencies generally describe them as docile creatures with no record of attacking humans.
"The only time alligator gar pose danger to people is when anglers try to land and handle these large, powerful fish," the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department said on its website.
Platinum gar are a specially-bred white version of the fish that are frequently sold as exotic pets.
East Idaho Aquarium has upped the gar's tank size to the largest 10,000-gallon tank in the building. Faires said they were prepared to get an even larger tank for them down the road if they continued to grow.