A new Ross Kemp documentary in which he tracked down zoo animals once owned by Michael Jackson has been branded 'strange' and 'pointless by fans of both stars.
The programme which aired on ITV last night (April 27) saw the EastEnders actor-turned-presenter go in pursuit of the dozens of creatures formerly kept at the late King of Pop's Neverland ranch in the US prior to its closure in 2005.
The horde was, at one point, said to include six giraffes, eight alligators, a bear, 20 exotic birds, three elephants, seven apes, four tigers, along with monkeys, snakes and lizards.
Jackson was thought to have spent millions of dollars acquiring them from all over the world.
However, after previous hard-hitting efforts like the BAFTA-winning Ross Kemp on Gangs and another where he reported from the frontline in war-torn Afghanistan, many viewers were left nonplussed and scratching their heads as to why the documentary was being made now, some 17 years later.
"Weirdest programme I've seen in a long time," declared one on Twitter, while another – a Jacko devotee – called it a "ludicrous pastiche of investigative journalism."
Meanwhile, someone else posted, "Ross Kemp used to chase down the toughest nastiest gangs there were. Now I'm watching him try to track down the animals from Michael Jackson's farm. From gangs and guns to giraffes and alpacas."
Another fan even wondered if she'd been "made delusional" by Covid as she admitted to having struggled getting her head around the point of the show.
"Ross Kemp, what are you doing looking for Michael Jackson's missing giraffes? Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say," she wrote.
Ultimately, many of the animals who lived at Neverland would end up in private zoos. These included the likes of Jackson’s famous chimpanzee, Bubbles, who was allegedly abused and now lives in an animal sanctuary in Florida.
Tigers talked about in the documentary, Thriller and Sabu, lived at the ranch until 2006 when they were moved to Shambala Preserve in California. Unfortunately, the former passed away in 2012. Two of Jackson’s pet giraffes also died after they left Neverland.
Notably explored in the film, was Jackson's pet elephant, Gypsy – the location for whom wasn't revealed – while exotic birds Princess and Annie Sue were taken to a wildlife preservation site in South Utah.
Finally, viewers also discovered that some of the reptiles at the Jackson ranch went to the infamous GW Zoo in Oklahoma, which was famously once owned by disgraced Tiger King star, Joe Exotic.
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