When Charlie Frank and his dad, Charles Sr. opened The Pet Shanty in 1987, "Steve" the leather coral could fit inside a small coffee cup.
Steve, a soft coral native to Indonesia has lived in the same tank since opened it’s doors 24 years ago. Surrounded by rocks, small fish and millions of microorganisms, the 40 pound coral had become too big for his home.
Charlie’s wife, Jessica Frank, who now co-owns The Pet Shanty with her husband, explained that without a bigger home, Steve would begin to crack and fall into pieces.
“Everybody loves Steve - He’s our mascot,” Jessica said. “Tonight we will get to hug Steve for the first time,” she humored.
After searching for the perfect tank for nearly two years, Charlie, Jessica, and Pet Shanty employees Joe Netta and Dale Lyon worked late into the night to transport Steve from his old tank, to a fully equipped 179 gallon tank. Charlie Frank explained that with a new tank, Steve can live happily for at least another decade.
You can visit Steve in his new home at The Pet Shanty, located at 2507 US Highway 22 East in Scotch Plains.