A dead two-tonne great white shark, the carcass of which was abandoned in an eerie wildlife park, has finally been re-homed.
The dead shark, affectionately named Rosie, was found late last year by urban explorer Luke McPherson, where she was hidden inside the Wildlife Wonderland Park, in Bass, south of Melbourne.
Laid to rest in an unsightly tank of formaldehyde, her smile forced by the passage of time and decay of her rotting face flesh, the Internet immediately took a liking to Rosie and her unfortunate circumstances.
Inside one of the buildings – which is scattered with litter, broken furniture, and old appliances – the explorers found the carcass of the great white suspended in the tank, filled with formaldehyde.
In case you missed Damien Hirst’s artistic oeuvre, formaldehyde is a chemical used to preserve dead bodies.
Just like Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Rosie went posthumously viral after her discoverer posted a video to YouTube, which racked up nearly 10 million views since it was posted in November last year.
But with great fame comes great strain, and some locals attempted to break into the abandoned park and see the mighty shark for themselves.
However, others went along with the mind to vandalise and destroy Rosie’s tank.
But, Rosie’s supporters were worried her preserved remains would suffer at the hands of the tank detractors so have campaigned to have her body moved to safety. They even started a GoFundMe.
Rosie the shark was originally found dead in 1998 in tuna fishing nets in South Australia, and had been preserved in the wildlife park in Bass, eastern Victoria, ever since.
The abandoned park was reportedly shut down seven years ago in 2012 by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, due to offences against wildlife.
The park also didn’t hold a license to display native animals to the public.
As such, the operator was evicted and surrendered all the wildlife to the RSPCA and the Department of Sustainability, but they didn’t find a new home for the shark… Until now.
After months of her fate hanging in the balance, Crystal World and Prehistoric Journeys in Meadows has come to Rosie’s rescue.
Shane McAlister, an employee of Crystal World and Prehistoric Journeys, said vandals had succeeded in taking the top of the tank off and throwing rubbish in the tank.
He told Daily Mail Australia Rosie has had ‘an amazing journey’:
It’s a remarkable thing, for starters with all the vandalism and everything that has happened to the actual wildlife park and to Rosie’s tank.
I had to go down there [to the wildlife park] and do a patrol and make sure no delinquents were going to vandal Rosie’s tank any further.
To bring her back and actually put her on show for people is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do this, and I’m just very blessed and proud to be a part of it.
McAlister hopes to personally restore Rosie’s tank to as good as new so the shark can rest in formaldehyde in peace. You can support him here.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.