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Michael Jackson’s alligators ‘burned to death in Tiger King star Joe Exotic’s studio fire’

LATE pop legend Michael Jackson’s alligators were apparently killed in an arson attack featured in insane new documentary The Tiger King.

The seven-part Netflix mini-series – full title Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness – has won worldwide acclaim as it follows the life of eccentric zoo owner Joe Exotic, who’s now serving 22 years in prison for his part in a murder-for-hire plot.

Featured in the doc was a mysterious fire at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which wiped out seven alligators and one crocodile along with its film studio – and Exotic was suspected of being behind it.

Now his ‘husband’ John Finley has revealed some of the deceased creatures belong to King of Pop Jackson, who died in 2009 and famously owned a number of unusual pets at his Neverland home.

Now living with his wife in Oklahoma, Finlay opened up to David Spade in an interview for Lights Out.

During the chat he revealed how they came to own Jacko’s exotic pets, and how much he liked looking after them.

Finlay said: "My favourite animals were the alligators and crocodiles. 

“A previous manager had gotten Michael Jackson’s alligators from Neverland ranch.

"We’d got some other ones from friends and stuff. They were the ones I really took care of most of the time."

Discussing the dangers of handling crocs and alligators, Finlay said: "You’ve got to be very cautious as they have a lot more to worry about than, say, a tiger or a bear.

"Their tail comes round half their body and it packs a wallop."

Finlay, who was one of Exotic’s 'husbands', also cleared up the nature of his relationship with his former boss.

He said: "Just to clear the record, me and Joe were never legally married, ever."

Finlay also admitted his reasons behind appearing in the documentary with his shirt off.

He said: "It was the director’s idea. It was kind of the sex appeal type thing.”

The Tiger King follows Exotic’s descent into a world of crime, leading up to his imprisonment for hiring a hitman to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin, and has given the animated zoo owner some newfound fame.

We reported how Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is "thrilled" by the public's reaction to the Netflix series and wants to become a "criminal justice reformer."

Co-directors of the documentary, Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, recently spoke with the Los Angeles Times and LADBible about the tiger lover's excitement – despite still being in jail.

Goode told LADBible: "Joe has called up Rebecca and I from jail since the airing of the documentary and, you know, he has lived his entire life just to be famous and so to finally realize this fame is just... He's tickled pink.

"Even though he's behind bars it's really interesting to see Joe's response - it's incredible, and very surprising.

"He's absolutely thrilled."

Tiger King is available to stream now on Netflix.

Netflix Tiger King trailer tells shocking true story of zookeeper Joe Exotic

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