The Unbelievable Story Of The Abandoned Shark, Rosie

In 1997, Rosie the Shark was caught in a family’s tuna-fishing net and preserved in a formaldehyde tank before being abandoned. But now she’s being brought back to her former glory.

Rosie the shark would die after breaching their tuna nets, despite the fact that the men who discovered her had no intention of trapping an apex predator. The great white shark, caught off the coast of South Australia in 1997, was a two-ton beast with razor-sharp teeth that would be marveled at for decades.

Rosie the shark, who lived for 70 years, had traveled the ocean for dozens of years. Nothing, however, would compare to her adventure after death, when overwhelming demand for her massive body turned her into a tourist attraction at the Wildlife Wonderland theme park – long before social media made her famous.

Rosie the shark spent more than a decade in a bespoke tank soaked with formaldehyde after being transported to the park on a refrigerated truck. Rosie, on the other hand, was left behind when the park closed, until one urban explorer documented the well-preserved creature for all to see online.

When Rosie the Shark Was Still Alive

Rosie the shark was first seen in Australia in 1997, after she ate her way through a tuna enclosure off the coast of Louth Bay. The regional authorities decided to track Rosie down since seafood enterprises and local divers rely on those waters. Rosie’s species wasn’t yet actively protected, so initial plans considered tranquilizing her.

It’s no surprise that the incident didn’t create as much of an impact as the animal did. There were only about 70 million people online that year, which seems ancient in comparison to today’s 5 billion users. However, according to historian Eric Kotz’s book The Jawsome Coast, the shark’s adventure had just just begun.

“After her death, she was kept in a freezer at Tulka, but everyone wanted to visit her,” Kotz added. “Eventually, the tuna firm yielded and put it on display, and thousands of people came to view it,” my brother recounted.

The monster piqued the interest of citizens and animal parks alike. The Seal Rocks Life Center made an initial offer, but then backed out, forcing Wildlife Wonderland to remove Rosie from competitive waters. She traveled 900 miles from South Australia to Bass, Victoria, on a refrigerated truck.

However, she was detained by the government before she arrived because a local lady had gone missing, and all eyes were on Rosie. Before Wildlife Wonderland creator John Matthews packed her with dacron and placed her in a gigantic custom-built tank full of formaldehyde, a grisly necropsy exonerated her as a suspect.

Wildlife Wonderland, unfortunately for Matthews, lacks the necessary authorization to own and display its animals. In 2012, the park was forced to close after being ordered to surrender all living animals. Rosie the shark was abandoned in her tank until urban explorer Luke McPherson discovered it and revived interest.

The Return And Restoration Of Rosie The Shark

McPherson posted a video to his YouTube account titled “Abandoned Australian Wildlife Park” on Nov. 3, 2018. “Decaying and rotting.” It has since received over 16 million views, raising awareness for the stranded shark. Regrettably, this awareness has resulted in frightening vandalism.

Locals began trespassing onto the site within months of the video going public. They splashed graffiti on the glass of Rosie’s tank and even hurled a chair into the water. When the tank began to leak, McPherson noticed carcinogenic odors in the air and issued public safety warnings.

“The odors were so awful you couldn’t stay in that room for more than a minute, the formaldehyde had to be evaporating,” he added. “The tank was enormous and in horrible shape, with a rusted metal frame, shattered glass panels, and debris tossed inside.” “Wow, that’s creepy,” I thought after I got the light behind the tank.

When the landlord announced that he was considering killing the shark, social media campaigns to “Save Rosie the Shark” erupted. Tom Kapitany perked up in 2019 as the proprietor of the Crystal World and Prehistoric Journeys Exhibition Center, accepting the $500,000 cost of moving and displaying her personally.

“It’s a remarkable thing,” Shane McAlister, a Crystal World employee, said, “for starters, with all the destruction and everything that has happened to the actual animal park and to Rosie’s tank.” “I had to go down there and conduct a patrol to ensure that no more delinquents vandalized Rosie’s tank.”

Rosie’s story is far from ended in the end. While Kapitany emptied her vitrine of poisonous formaldehyde in the hopes of replacing her with a safer preservative, his GoFundMe campaign to fund 19,500 liters of glycerol to preserve and repair the creature has only raised $3,554 of the $67,500 objective.

“To bring her back and put her on display for people is a once in a lifetime chance, and I’m just really happy and proud to be a part of it,” McAlister said. “Rosie’s journey has been nothing short of incredible.”


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