We need your urgent help to save Rosie the Shark!
Please read Rosie's story and, if you would like to help, you can donate via GoFundMe, PayPal or direct deposit. Please mention "Rosie" as your reference. Thank you!
Since 2012 amongst rubble and crumbling buildings of an abandoned wildlife park, Rosie, a taxidermied 5m Great White Shark lay forgotten. She was captured way back in 1998 in the tuna fishing nets of South Australia and she was put into a large tank of formaldehyde that would allow her to be on public display in museums and wildlife centres but, because she was not gutted like in most taxidermy, her body was completely solid and in near-perfect condition.
About 7 years ago, Sharon Williamson from Australian Animal Rescue, Hank Ebes, Jeno Kapitany and Tom Kapitany (owner of Crystal World) visited the park with the option to develop it, they saw Rosie locked away in the dark shed and tank that housed her. Unfortunately, they decided not to proceed with the project as it wasn’t viable at the time, and they were unable to do anything to save Rosie.
Late in 2018, a a video of Rosie in her tank showing her abandoned, went viral around the world with millions of views. Because of this publicity, Rosie's plight was discovered but unfortunately it also meant that vandals and souvenir hunters trespassed into the private property and tried their best to smash Rosie's tank, managing to shatter the outer layer of two panels.
Because the top part of the tank was removed, the liquid was evaporating, leaving the tip of Rosie’s dorsal fin extending above the waterline and allowing vandals to throw rubbish into her tank which damaged and bruised Rosie’s body.
The landlord, due to public liability issues, felt that Rosie had to be removed and destroyed unless a new owner could be found in the next few days. At this point it was vital to act quickly to save Rosie from further damage and for public safety.
Numerous campaigns to “Save Rosie the Shark ” were started on social media, television and radio and, through these passionate pleas, her plight was bought to the attention of Sharon Williamson who immediately contacted Thomas Kapitany to let him know Rosie was under threat of destruction.
Rosie’s owner Nick was extremely generous and agreed to donate her to Tom Kapitany, owner of Crystal World and Prehistoric Journeys Exhibition Centre for free and also cover the removal and transport costs, however she had to be moved urgently and required 24 hour security to prevent further vandalism.
The chemicals were pumped out leaving Rosie laying awkwardly on her side in the tank surrounded by toxic fumes, preventing anyone from safely entering the tank. We had to remove the roof of the shed she was housed in and were able to crane her out before moving her safely to her new home at Crystal World on Thursday 21st of February. She may now be home however there is still a long way to go to save her.
Rosie has been rescued but she is yet to be “saved".
Our expected costs:
There will be considerable cost involved to remove items and repair the tank and then try to display Rosie at her best. To save Rosie we estimate it will cost about $100,000:
· We need to use hazmat suits and neutralising chemicals to nullify the formadehyde and remove everything but Rosie from the tank.
· We need to clean and repair the tank removing the extensive rust and excess chemicals.
· We need to repair damage to Rosie and to build brackets to support her.
· We need to obtain 20,000L of glycerine which will cost between $30,000 and $50,000 depending on where we can source it (internationally or locally).
· We need to replace her filtration system.
· We need to move her to a new building (yet to be built) with a concrete pad built to hold her final weight of 30 tonnes. (To do this we will need to pump out the tank again for the transfer by crane).
· Once in her final home, we will set up displays and information sharing Rosie’s story. Rosie will then be on full display for the public to visit free of charge, seven days a week including public holidays.
How you can help:
This is your chance to be part of her “story”. Any donations made will go towards the restoration of Rosie and her tank. Any excess funds from those raised will go to the Australian Animal Rescue charity and shark rescue conservation.
For all those who donate over $100 we will include your names in an acknowledgement section in Rosie’s book.
If you donate over $250, not only will we thank you but we would also like to present you with your own copy of the high quality, limited edition version of Rosie’s book.
Any donated goods and services will also be acknowledged with our deepest thanks.
Rosie’s story has caught the heart of many fans, not only nationally but also internationally. Without the publicity from media, both social and mainstream, and the support of Rosie’s fans, she still may have been lying abandoned within a dark shed. Now, with your help, we have a chance to restore her and share her story to help educate people about these beautiful creatures.
- Samantha McHale
- Wayne Ingraham
- Donna Sinnott
- Tim Berman
- Fred Knoop
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