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SAM’s great white shark autopsy on journey

Screenshot from Lukie Mc Youtube video. Photo by Lukie Mc/Youtube.

Diana Rus, The Great White Shark Found at an Abandoned Wildlife Park, NewsBreak Original, 22 February 2023

In a video posted a YouTube video in November 2018, urban explorer Luke McPherson entered an abandoned Australian Wildlife and come upon a shark tank.

Millions of people watched the YouTube video, which led to an increase in trespassing on the property to see the shark and vandals who vandalized the tank and its surrounds.

Chairs and other objects were also thrown into the tank. Once the shark’s vitrine was damaged, causing carcinogenic formaldehyde vapors to flow from the tank, the local police warned the public about the risks of visiting the shark.

Rosie the shark

In the present, the preserved great white shark named Rosie the Shark is in the Crystal World Exhibition Center in Devon Meadows, Australia. The shark was previously kept in a formaldehyde tank of glass at Wildlife Wonderland in Bass, Victoria, which shut down in 2012 over concerns about animal care and operating without the necessary permits.

How Rosie the Great White Shark ended up at a wildlife park

On the South Australian coast in 1997, a great white shark was killed after it became entangled in the tuna fishing nets of the Lukin family. Initially interested in buying the shark from the Lukin family, Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre ultimately opted against the acquisition. Instead, Wildlife Wonderland bought it.

The Government of South Australia confiscated Rosie as it was being carried to Wildlife Wonderland in Victoria in a refrigerated truck because a woman had been reported missing, necessitating a necropsy of the shark at the South Australian Museum.

Rosie was stored in a formaldehyde solution after the necropsy in a specially made tank.

John Matthews, the founder of Wildlife Wonderland, recalled the ownership operation. It required extensive logistics cooperation with the Melbourne Museum and ultimately cost them nearly $500,000.

The shark had to be craned in and placed into a new, sealed tank after the roof had to be removed and a special chamber had to be built.

After it was discovered that Wildlife Wonderland was conducting business without the necessary permits in 2012, it was forced to shut down operations and turn over all live animals to the RSPCA of Australia and the Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria.

Tom Kapitany and Sharon Williamson standing with Rosie the Shark at the Crystal World Exhibition Centre. Photo by Rosie the Shark/Wikipedia.

Restoration of Rosie the Shark

Rosie the Shark was restored under the direction of Tom Kapitany at the Crystal World Exhibition Centre in Devon Meadows, Victoria, Australia, which is located at 13 Olive Road. The formaldehyde was drained out of the cage by the exhibition center staff, who then replaced it with glycerol as a safer preserving solution.

Flying Fox Productions is documenting the history, devastation, rescue, and rehabilitation of Rosie the Shark for a television show.

At first, after acquiring Rosie the Shark, Kapitany contacted a shark and taxidermy specialist, regarding the best way to preserve the shark. Moreover, based on the advice of glass specialists about the broken glass panels, they decided to keep it because it’s part of the tale even though there are four layers of glass and only one of them is broken.

Since then, the shark has been on public display at Crystal World Exhibition Centre while restoration work is ongoing. The preservative is gradually added to the tank while being constantly monitored and injected into the shark’s exposed areas.

Shane McAlister injecting glycerol into Rosie the Shark at Crystal World Exhibition Centre.
Photo by Rosie the Shark/Wikipedia.