Michael Jackson’s beloved pet alligators were killed in a fire at an exotic-animal park in Oklahoma, the park owner said.
The late pop star’s seven alligators and a crocodile died in the March 26 blaze that also destroyed a video production studio at Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, Okla., said owner Joe Schreibvogel.
In a YouTube video, he said the animals were “boiling alive in a towering inferno” in the fire that occurred sometime between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m.
The exotic pets once belonged to the late musician and were taken from Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County after it closed.
Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes told the Oklahoman that deputies suspect arson because the park received a threat before the fire. He said the state’s fire marshal and the FBI were investigating the blaze.
But Schreibvogel believes the fire was a personal attack perpetrated by someone trying to “make a statement” and get him off the air.
Schreibvogel used the video production studio to host his own show, “Joe Exotic TV.”
“They might have shut me up for just a little while, but let me tell you they have awoken a monster,” he said. “Now, Joe Exotic is pissed off.”
The park has come under fire in the past.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has said the park is a “poorly run facility.”
For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA