The Dead Alligators From 'Tiger King' Once Belonged to Michael Jackson

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Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem is, as promised, crazy. The number of connections to Hollywood that have been revealed in its wake -- to Britney Spears, Shaquille O'Neal and Beyoncé -- is its own separate can of crazy.

Well, here's another: Joe Exotic's alligators -- who were "boiling alive in a towering inferno," as he put it, when someone allegedly burned down the Joe Exotic TV studio and reptile enclosure at G.W. Zoo -- once belonged to Michael Jackson.

The Michael Jackson connection actually headlined the news when The L.A. Times reported on the arson in 2015, with Joe Maldonado-Passage (né Schreibvogel) confirming "seven alligators and a crocodile died in the March 26" fire.

John Finlay, ex-husband (or "husband") to Joe, confirmed the gators' former owner on Lights Out with David Spade. "One of the previous managers had gotten us Michael Jackson's alligators from Neverland Ranch," he said. "We had gotten some other ones from friends and stuff."

When ET spoke with Finlay, he named working with the large reptiles -- which he says were far more dangerous than the tigers -- as a good memory from his time at the zoo. "They were the more fascinating animals of any of them," he told Kevin Frazier, revealing that he might return to working with gators "in the future."

Just don't expect Finlay to become the Gator King anytime soon. "No, no, no. There are many more skilled people out there than me! I just go by Gator," he said. "My nickname at the park was Gator Man, but since I left the park, I dropped the 'Man' part and it's just strictly Gator."

Watch more of ET's interview with John Finlay below.


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