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Michael Jackson's Giraffe Jabbar Died In Horrific Neck Snapping Incident

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Michael Jackson's Giraffe Jabbar Died In Horrific Neck Snapping Incident

An ITV documentary has detailed how Michael Jackson’s giraffe Jabbar died in a horrific accident involving a barn door.

Searching for Michael Jackson’s Zoo with Ross Kemp, which aired in April, saw Kemp travel around the States to investigate the fate of some of the King of Pop’s former animals.

Jackson, who died in 2009, had a menagerie of more than 130 exotic wild animals, including giraffes, elephants, snakes and tigers, on his sprawling Neverland Ranch in California.

However, his ‘pets’ were reportedly subject to horrific abuse and Kemp sought to uncover what happened to the creatures after the megastar left Neverland following his acquittal on child molestation charges in 2005 and moved to the Middle East.

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Ross Kemp's documentary looked into the fate of animals at Neverland Ranch. Credit: ITV
Ross Kemp's documentary looked into the fate of animals at Neverland Ranch. Credit: ITV

One particularly horrific incident discussed in the documentary included the singer’s giraffe Jabbar.

The animal suffered a cruel end when he broke his neck after moving to a larger enclosure in Neverland.

Speaking to Kemp on the phone, Jackson’s friend and personal portrait artist David Nordahl shared: "Jabbar was killed in an accident. That was really, really, really sad.

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"The doors that came into the giraffe barn came loose and the door came round and broke his neck."

The 'Thriller' hitmaker imported the exotic animal to California illegally in the mid-1980s when Jabbar was already eight feet tall.

Notably, California Fish and Game Commission officials once confiscated the giraffe following a routine visit to the 2,700-acre ranch.

Law enforcement officers claimed Jabbar had entered the state without a permit and that the enclosure Jackson’s handlers kept him in was too small.

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Michael Jackson seen with a snake at his former California home. Credit: ITV
Michael Jackson seen with a snake at his former California home. Credit: ITV

Authorities later ruled that the singer could retain the animal as long as he moved him to a much larger enclosure.

At the time, Jackson’s personal assistant Bill Bray defended him and claimed officials had been slow to grant the necessary permit.

He said in a statement: “We always intended to get a permit. We applied for one before the giraffe was shipped from Missouri, but they were slow about granting it.”

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Interestingly, Jabbar along with another giraffe almost died in a barn fire prior to his death while two other giraffes sadly froze to death after they were sold to a private animal collector.

The documentary also investigated other stories from Neverland which included a parrot being eaten by a boa constrictor and a llama savaged to death by a dog.

Jabbar sadly died after an accident with a barn door on the ranch. Credit: ITV
Jabbar sadly died after an accident with a barn door on the ranch. Credit: ITV

Speaking about the private zoo, primatologist Jane Goodall, who visited Neverland, said in that the conditions the animals lived in were 'terrible'.

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She told Kemp: “The conditions were terrible.

“There were two dressed-up chimps kept separately who came out to be ­photographed. There was a poor little bear in a circular cage crying – it shouldn’t have left its mother.

“The whole situation was horrendous.”

Searching For Michael Jackson’s Zoo With Ross Kemp is available to watch on the ITV hub now. 

Featured Image Credit: ITV/Alamy

Topics: US News, Michael Jackson, Celebrity

Lisa McLoughlin
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