Subscribe to CNN's Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with the latest news on fascinating discoveries, scientific breakthroughs and more . A creature known as the living fossil - the alligator gar - found its way to Kansas for the first time times in documented history. Angler Danny Lee Butch Smith caught the 4.5ft, 39.5lb (1.37m, 17.92kg) fish on September 20 during a routine fishing trip in the Neosho River, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks . The fossil record of the alligator gar goes back almost 100 million years, hence the nickname “living fossil fish.” Smith once saw the gurgling - the long-nosed gurgles, to Short, spotted muzzle are local to Kansas - but nothing quite like this. This is because the alligator gar is not native to Kansas waters. When he first came out of the water ... I was shocked, I was stunned. I saw gar jump, but nothing like this one did. Smith said. This is a unique offering, I'm sure. Unlike other gar typically seen in Kansas, the alligator gar has a wider muzzle and resembles an American alligator. Rare fish are found from southwestern Ohio and southern Illinois to the Mississippi River watershed, and extend south to the Gulf of Mexico, according to the United States Fish & Wildlife Service . more He's a well-traveled gar How the alligator gar came to the Neosho River remains a mystery. During his 26 years of work with the Department of Wildlife and Parks of the Kansas Regional Fisheries Supervisor Sean Lynott said this was only his second or third encounter with a non-native riverine species.introduction of non-native species is harmful as they can bring disease and disturb the ecosystem. It is also illegal in Kansas release the fish into public waters unless the fish have been caught in these waters. The Smithsonian webcam offers a view of his adorable litter of cheetahs that just born We don't know where this fish came from. It's much easier to move fish if you move water, so we also have this concern . Where does this water come from? Lynott said. Lynott said they couldn't find a tag on it. Other gar in the United States are mostly found around large river systems, such as the Mississippi River, but Lynott said there are no connecting waterways for the gar to travel naturally. at Neosho. River. Go fishing - anything can happen Biologists will work to uncover the origins of the fish through other means, such as genetic identification, cationic and microchemical tests. Lynott said their best guessat present is that the boy was released by an aquarium or by someone who had the boy as a pet. We are fairly confident that this fish would not have ended up in the Neosho River if it had not been transported and released by humans said Lynott. An Australian-built rover will head to the moon in 2026 as part of a joint mission with NASA Lynott said the agency has 30 days to determine whether it will recognize this find as a state record. The group has yet to come to a consensus, but the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks plans to publish its findings at ksoutdoors.com . Smith, who has lived in Kansas - and fished there - all his life, called the experience a mystery. But he was back on the water the next day, having replaced his boat's oar, which was damaged by the gar. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors. ... You can't catch a fish sitting on the couch, Smith said. Anything can happen if you spend enough time on the water.