Save Rosie the Shark
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.
It's been a very busy few weeks since our last update. We have had to completely clean out her tank of rubbish and gravel and it has taken many weeks to remove any trace of formaldehyde.
Repairs to the tank have recently completed with many weeks of work to remove the rust and scrub out the floor and re-paint the tank inside and out. We have had a number of experts visit to inspect the glass and check Rosie's preservation.
We have covered the base of the tank with rose quartz and are now slowly filling the tank with glycerine which is a non-carcinogenic chemical which, whilst expensive, is the best option to preserve her.
We have saved many of the old educational signage from the Wildlife Wonderland (where she was abandoned before being found by Lukey Mc who shared her plight on YouTube and social media which lead in turn to our finding out about her - thank you!)
For photo and video updates on her progress follow our Facebook page www.facebook.com/CrystalWorldPrehistoricJourneys and her own support page www.facebook.com/pg/rosietheshark
Please share this campaign so we can all work together to restore Rosie for everyone to visit and learn more about these magnificent creatures.
When we first heard of her plight, Rosie’s tank was about to be drained and she was to be discarded to landfill, due to public safety concerns of numerous trespassers and vandals at her previous location. We had less than 24 hours to act to rescue her and so did not have enough time to fully assess her current state or the costs of what would be needed to restore and save her. Tom Kapitany, the owner of Crystal World Journeys and Exhibition Centre was overseas but he told us to bring her home.
Tom immediately booked international flights so he could be home on the weekend to visit Rosie and to assess what would be needed in her rescue. Sadly he realised the reality of the task is much larger than we all hoped and much of it Is urgent: The tank needs full repairs (including the removal of significant rust), all rubbish and gravel had to be cleaned of all traces of the toxic formaldehyde and removed, Rosie needs restoration and to be protected from the elements. One of the most expensive and urgent components of her preservation, and to enable to go on display to the public, is that we need to source a safe alternative to her previous toxic chemicals that she was preserved in, ideally 20,000L of glycerine. Her current location on our premises is only a temporary one as we need to build a concrete pad that will support 30 tonnes (the weight of Rosie’s fully laden tank), which we hope to place in a new shed that we have planned.
Nothing is cheap anymore and there’s no such thing as a cheap fix for Rosie. She needs work done on her urgently and it all costs money. Tom is willing to put in much of his own money and has already started to do so but he doesn’t have enough for all the time critical work. It was this need, plus the constant requests from Rosie’s fans wanting to contribute something to help her, that necessitated the creation of a GoFundMe page. We picked an arbitrary amount as, until we further research the true costs, we don’t know how much it will take to save Rosie. We are not doing this for profit and indeed, any money above that needed to restore Rosie, will be donated to charities for animal rescue and shark conservation.
Preserving Natural History and education is Tom Kapitany’s passion. Not only is he also a Co-Director of the National Dinosaur Museum, he is also a well-known International Museum Consultant, who donates his time and expertise to the museums. Rosie will be on display free of charge to the public as an educational experience for people to learn more about Great White Sharks, marine conservation and, in particular, Rosie’s own story that so many people have invested in.
Rosie is not just a specimen, she is part of our history. Adults and children will be able to get close to her and see what a Great White Shark really looks like, they will be able to learn all about them and, if they wish, they will be able to buy her book and other items, where the proceeds will go towards shark conservation.