As though “Tiger King” didn’t already have enough twists and turns, the viral Netflix docuseries also has a surprising connection to Michael Jackson.
Seven alligators and a crocodile belonging to the late pop star were killed in the 2015 fire at Joe Exotic’s animal park, according to the Los Angeles Times. Citing a video recorded in which the zoo owner said his animals were “boiling alive in a towering inferno,” the L.A. Times reported that the animals were moved from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to Joe Exotic’s park in Oklahoma after the closure of Neverland.
Exotic’s former partner, John Finlay, also relayed the story in an interview with David Spade on “Lights Out” earlier this week.
Released on Netflix on March 20, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” tells the story of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, a.k.a. “Joe Exotic,” the former tiger zoo owner who’s currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after hiring a hitman to kill Carole Baskin, a rival big cat enthusiast and owner of the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary.
Exotic’s zoo suffered an arson fire in 2015 that burned down both the crocodile enclosure as well as Exotic’s film and TV studio, which he used to film his own show, “Joe Exotic TV.” The park owner has accused Baskin of paying his producer $20,000 to start the fire, while others have accused Exotic of starting the fire himself.
“They might have shut me up for just a little while, but let me tell you they have awoken a monster,” Exotic said in the 2015 video cited by the L.A. Times. “Now, Joe Exotic is pissed off.”