New ITV documentary seeks to uncover what happened to animals belonging to Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch
Neverland Ranch was King of Pop Michael Jackson’s lavish home and private amusement park until 2009.
The ranch contained three railroads as well as several rides including a pirate ship, bumper cars and a Ferris wheel – and a zoo.
By the time the ranch was put up for sale after Jackson’s death – all of the animals in the zoo of which there were 50 different species – had disappeared.
In the ITV documentary Searching for Michael Jackson’s Zoo, actor and presenter Ross Kemp sets out to find out what happened to the animals at Neverland Ranch after Jackson’s death.
When did Michael Jackson die?
Michael Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50 from cardiac arrest.
The coroner ruled Jackson’s death a homicide and in November 2011, Jackson’s personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of manslaughter for misadministering an anesthetic – Murray was sentenced to four years and sentenced to four years. purged two.
What happened to Michael Jackson’s zoo animals?
After his acquittal of child molestation charges in 2005, Jackson left his ranch and never returned to live there.
The fate of many of Jackson’s animals since 2005 is a mystery, though it’s likely that at least some of them are still alive.
During the documentary, Kemp discovered that several of Jackson’s large pets had died prematurely – two giraffes died in a barn fire, another died of a broken neck when a barn door slammed on it. .
After Jackson left Neverland, many of his animals were purchased by private collectors – some of whom had little experience handling large pets – and others were rehoused in sanctuaries and zoos across United States.
One of Jackson’s elephants, Baba, is now owned by one of Neverland’s trainers who told Kemp he regretted the way the animals were treated at the ranch.
Kemp also discovered that many animals suffered mistreatment and poor conditions even when Jackson was still living in Neverland.
In one instance, a chimpanzee expert who visited the ranch told Jackson that the enclosures he was using were too small and that infants and their mothers should not be separated, as was the practice at Neverland.
Kemp also heard that the bears were trained to ride in bumper cars and golf carts at the ranch.
Who owns Neverland Ranch now?
In 2016, the 2,698-acre ranch was listed for sale for $100 million, but the asking price dropped to $67 million due to a lack of interest.
The asking price for the property and land continued to drop until billionaire Ronald Burkle bought it for $22 million in 2020.
Burkle was a family friend of Jackson and said he bought the property as a land bank opportunity.
What happened to Michael, Jackson’s Bubbles chimp?
Bubbles was a chimpanzee purchased by Jackson from a Texas research facility in the 1980s.
The animal was moved to an animal shelter in 2003 due to fears it might attack Jackson’s newborn son.
Bubbles is still alive and now lives with a group of other chimpanzees at the sanctuary, the Center for Great Apes, in Florida.
When do you look for Michael Jackson’s Zoo on TV?
The episode will air on ITV on April 27 at 9 p.m. and will be available for viewing on ITV Hub shortly after it first airs.