About 7 years ago, Sharon Williamson from Australian Animal Rescue, Hank Ebes, Nadine Rosaia, Tony Fraser, Andrew John, my brother Jeno Kapitany and I visited a wildlife park with the option to develop it. We saw Rosie locked away in a dark shed and in the tank that housed her.
We decided not to proceed with the project as it wasn’t viable but were unable to do anything to save Rosie.
Luke in his travels of abandon sites posted this Youtube video which went viral on social media. Shortly after, curious people and souvenir hunters started to visit with vandals attempting to destroy the tank by smashing the glass panels (potential Darwin Award recipients) as she was preserved in a solution of very toxic chemicals (formaldehyde).
Numerous articles of junk were thrown into her tank damaging and bruising Rosie’s body. Sharon contacted me when I was in U.S.A and we quickly discussed rescue options.
Nick the owner needed to remove Rosie urgently due to public safety concerns. He didn’t want to destroy Rosie but had little option until Sharon approached him on my behalf. Nick was extremely generous and agreed to donate her to Crystal World for free and cover the removal and transport costs.
We were in a difficult position as removal was urgent we had little to to prepare and remove her safely. Security guards and my staff kept security 24 hours a day just before the the critical move.
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 tried to have a media lock down at this time as Rosie could have been easily damage and her teeth stolen by souvenir hunters.
Numerous cars would turn up at late in the night, even as late as 2:30 AM.
The ‘Save Rosie The Shark’ campaign cooperated with us and provided approved posts to social media. Unfortunately other media didn’t seem to care with daily updates of our activities, even with video footage from inside without permission from Nick.
After we had Rosie and her tank on the truck did freely release information.
Social media can be a good thing but at times it could have lead to more vandalism.
There will be considerable cost involved to remove items and repair the tank and then try to display Rosie at her best.
Luke in a sense did us a favour. As without media attention she would not have been saved, but it could have been the opposite and lead to her distruction.
Rosie has been rescued, she is yet to be saved.
The video has been viewed 12,000,000 times so far.