Luke McPherson was walking through a dark building in an abandoned wildlife park when he came across a huge tank of murky green liquid. Passing by the tank and continuing into the building, he saw scattered remnants of educational displays, trash, disused signs, and chairs. It wasn’t until he stepped behind the tank and turned to face it again that he saw what it held.
Now illuminated from behind, the animal inside the opaque fluid revealed itself. McPherson gasped as he could see the angular tail of a five-meter-long shark, long dead, a dark silhouette waiting silently against the green glow of sunlight.
McPherson was filming for his Youtube channel, which focuses on the exploration of abandoned buildings. Luckily, he caught the discovery on camera. “It was just amazing that the shark tank was just in perfect condition,” he said.
This is what remains of an enormous display of something like taxidermy, reminiscent of the artist Damien Hirst’s most famous piece. The shark that McPherson found is bigger, though.
This wildlife park was once a popular attraction in Victoria, Australia called “Wildlife Wonderland.” It had live animals and a museum shaped like a 100-meter-long earthworm, along with educational displays and games. Many of the displays, signs, pictures, and games are still there, dilapidated and haunting.
While the park in its heyday remains a fond memory for many who grew up in this area around Bass, Victoria, it closed in 2012. According to some reports, the park didn’t have a license to display native animals, in violation of the Wildlife Act 1975. The operator was evicted and he closed down the park, giving the animals to DSE and the RSPCA.
Well, the live animals, anyway. The shark remains.
The shark, a great white named “Rosie,” died in a tuna fishing net in 1998. This fate is all too common for sharks; Oceana calls accidental catches from the fishing industry “one of the biggest issues facing sharks today.” An artist took Rosie, preserved her body, and gave her to Wildlife Wonderland. According to Robert Jones, who half owned the park from 2003-2006, Rosie was never gutted, unlike most fish and taxidermy, and the body is as hard as a rock.
It’s not clear what chemicals were used to preserve this particular animal in what is known as “chemical fixation,” but McPherson could smell something. “It was quite a strong smell that came from that solution too, because people had removed the top part of the tank,” he said. “It was almost a glue smell.”
Because the top part of the tank was removed, the liquid appears to be evaporating, leaving the tip of Rosie’s dorsal fin extending ominously above the waterline. If no one comes to preserve the shark, more liquid will evaporate, her condition will worsen, and she will most likely be destroyed.
Whatever happens to Rosie’s body, she’ll live on in photos, videos, and memories of those who visited her in Wildlife Wonderland.
By Kristin Hugo, contributor for Ripleys.com
Saw this video at the start of the year, crazy how it’s just sitting there. I guess all these abandoned places just get left as they are, while the owners sneak away.
Kind of surprises me that Ripley’s will post an article about it but won’t go in to schoo up this awesome “wet taxidermy” piece and everything else that is still there!! Seems like lots of cool items that are just wasting away that Ripley’s could add to their worldwide museums they own!!!
The shark is decaying and not in good shape. Squatters and various other people have been taking advantage of the abandoned park and have destroyed the top of the tank, that is why its merky green. People have also thrown trash like televisions and chairs into it. There are more videos about Rosie on youtube, of people who had respectfully gone to see her.
I remember Rosie! I visited there many years ago by this point they had no animals left but Rosie, I also remember them serving ice cream that wasn’t very good. haha
sadly the shark tank was destroyed last night and the shark cannot be saved
actually, its in a new habitat and preserved correctly. look it up lmao
How old is Rosie the shark?
It is unknown what exact age Rosie is. She has been left alone for many years in a tank that has been destroyed during the following night of damaging. Rosie has much information behind her dark story, but has never been informed about her birthday and age, or child life and parents. Until this day, Rosie has been left alone, so it is uncertain weather she is about older that 2,000.
I feel so bad for this shark. I own a SeaWorld with 7 bottlenosed dolphins: Delta, Pandora, Gambit, Calusia, Talon, Pax, and Gypsi. I never want them to end up that way, neither do I want our dear Killer whales, Oceanic dolphins, or any of our sea animals.
Rosie was originally preserved after being caught in fishing nets and was to go on display as prt of a seal exhibition but that fell through, it wasn’t until after this that she found her home at what locals called The Guant Worm in Bass on the Gippsland Highway on the way To Phillip Island.
When I saw Rosie’s fin in YouTube I was so scary for me and the time when a YouTube put his camera inside the shark tank that was also scary it’s so sad to see Rosie like this BLAME IT ON THE FISHERMAN
i read all about rosey