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Tiger King: Joe Exotic Had Michael Jackson’s Alligator (But It DIDN’T Die)


In yet one more twist associated to the bonkers Netflix true-crime sequence Tiger King, Joe Unique had a connection to Michael Jackson’s alligators. It is solely been two weeks since Netflix dropped its newest true-crime sequence, Tiger King: Homicide, Mayhem and Insanity, but it has managed to totally dominate the popular culture dialog. Throughout the darkish instances associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide restrictions surrounding freedom of motion and concern over the state of public well being, it is no surprise audiences have gravitated towards a present that is equal elements gripping and totally bonkers.

A part of what makes Tiger King so endlessly enthralling is how surprising it’s at each flip; the sequence is filled with shocks, surprises, and the wholly unbelievable. Each facet of Tiger King appears to defy perception, from the mulleted central determine, Joe Unique, and his vaguely Lynchian YouTube rants to the strangest Gubernatorial marketing campaign the state of Oklahoma has ever seen. When it was revealed that Joe Unique had a connection to the late and deeply controversial king of pop himself, Michael Jackson, it appeared like simply one other head-scratching plot twist.

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RELATED: Casting A Tiger King Film

In Tiger King, a devastating hearth on the grounds of the Better Wynnewood Unique Animal Park, run by Joe Unique, passed off on March 26, 2015. The alligator compound and Joe’s TV studio, the place he shot his YouTube movies and saved footage for a deliberate actuality sequence, have been destroyed. All however one of many alligators have been primarily boiled alive by the warmth. The police speculated that the fireplace was began by an arsonist or presumably a vindictive worker; no person was ever arrested. Joe Unique blamed the occasion on animal rights activists, though the finger was additionally pointed at Joe himself within the documentary, in addition to Rick Kirkham, the fact TV producer working with him. The occasion is proven in Tiger King to be a tipping level that additional escalates Joe’s struggle with Carole Baskin of Massive Cat Rescue, to whom he had misplaced a pricey trademark infringement lawsuit and owed $1 million as a part of the settlement.

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An April 2015 article from the Los Angeles Times revealed that seven alligators and one crocodile that died within the Better Wynnewood Park hearth had as soon as belonged to Michael Jackson. No particulars are given on why Jackson gave up the animals, though it’s seemingly they have been supposed for his Neverland Ranch zoo. Jackson’s residence was the topic of a lot consideration because of its lavish and infrequently questionable design decisions, together with the concentrate on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and the numerous photographs of kids all through. Neverland included theme park rides, an amusement arcade, and a petting zoo the place he housed his unique pets. Jackson typically invited kids from all over the world, lots of whom got here from deprived backgrounds, to spend the day at Neverland Ranch. In 1995, Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley welcomed children from throughout the globe to the ranch as a part of celebrations for the United Nations’ 50th anniversary.

Jackson infamously by no means returned to Neverland Ranch after his 2005 trial the place he was charged with a number of counts of kid molestation; Jackson was acquitted. The services have been closed down and the workers dismissed. By 2009, the animals have been all gone. The ranch remains to be being maintained and is in the marketplace for $31 million, a drastically smaller quantity than its asking value in 2016 of $100 million.

Regardless of the report from the L.A. Instances, it seems that some journalistic errors have been made. Robert Moor, the journalist who labored on the Wondery podcast Joe Unique, took to Twitter to fill in some gaps within the story and proper a couple of oft-repeated errors. He famous that the unique report was “virtually true.” Joe did have an alligator from Jackson’s property, however it survived the fireplace. Its infants, sadly, didn’t. A lot of Jackson’s different animals are nonetheless alive at the moment. Bubbles, his well-known pet chimp, is now dwelling on the Heart for Nice Apes in Florida. His tigers are housed at Shambala Protect, a rescue middle run by actress Tippi Hedren. The present whereabouts of Gypsy, the five-thousand-pound Asian elephant purchased for him by Elizabeth Taylor, are unknown. Tiger King is now obtainable to look at on Netflix.

NEXT: Tiger King: Joe Unique’s First Husband (That Netflix Would not Embody)

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About The Writer

Kayleigh Donaldson is a full-time popular culture and movie author from Scotland. A options contributor to Display screen Rant, her work can be discovered repeatedly on Pajiba and SYFY FANGRRLS. She additionally co-hosts The Hollywood Learn podcast. Her favourite subjects embody star research, traditional Hollywood, field workplace evaluation, trade gossip, and caring approach an excessive amount of concerning the Oscars. She will principally be discovered on Twitter at @Ceilidhann.

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