by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals
Tags: .

Remember the zoo that Michael Jackson kept on his now defunct Neverland Ranch? Well, much like his career, the animals that were once cared for there have been scattered in the wind. Most have found new homes, but some — like Jackson’s giraffes — are still awaiting a new place to roam.

Enter PETA. Stage left.

The animal rights organization is blasting Jackson for not doing better due diligence on the care and conditions of his giraffes. Apparently, after Neverland was dismantled last year, the pop singer sold the four giraffes to a US couple that was getting ready to open an animal sanctuary. Those plans are still being finalized, and in the meantime PETA says the giraffes are being held in cages too small. A spokesperson for PETA said:

“When Jackson faced recent financial troubles, the giraffes were sold to a couple in Page, Arizona, who were reportedly planning to set up a zoo. More than a year later, the giraffes are still confined to pens that allegedly each measure approximately 15ft by 15ft, and the animals reportedly have not been receiving adequate veterinary or husbandry care. If Michael could see the giraffes’ plight for himself, I’m sure he’d agree that it’s bad – really, really bad.”

Will Jacko save the day? Or are these giraffes the same ones that Saturday Night Live claims “are plotting to take over the world“? Stay tuned!

[UPDATE: Check out Erin’s comments below on a phone call she just had with the new owners of the giraffes! ]

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Burger King Vegan Menu

    That’s a shame. Why would you put forth the money for these elegant creatures only to neglect them and relinquish responsibility. Sounds like a bad investment and an even worse couple of investors.

  • erin

    despite michael’s great (and often funny) writing style this post left me very sad…

    first off, mj should have been clued off when they said they were “buying” pets for a sanctuary.

    a real sanctuary takes in wild animals (retired elephants, mistreated animals etc) and then has to pay a fortune to maintain them (and people donate to help the sanctuary) They dont BUY animals for a sanctuary. That’s called a zoo (which personally I do not frequent) And this place isn’t even a zoo -it’s a tiny holding pen. A DOG needs at least that much room. What a joke. I hope these losers get arrested for animal abuse and go to a prison (as small as the pen they kept those elegant creatures in)


  • VeggieTart

    Like I needed another reason not to like Michael Jackson.

  • Toxic Avenger

    The responsibility is really that of the holding company now, and the couple who have been slacking on this “zoo” of theirs. However, it’s cool to pick on M.J., like it has been for the better part of two decades.

    I seriously wish people and organizations would leave the man alone, and stop copping out on the easiest target.

  • Kilroy

    If Jackson can’t screw it, he doesn’t care.

  • Jane Ross

    Why do people read this stuff and automatically believe it? Has there not been enough proof that most stories about him are false?

  • Anna

    This is a sad story, whether true or not. I heard about this recycling site where you can recycle electronics and have the proceeds go to places like National Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, etc. It’s called Recycle 4 a Cause….maybe we should be Recycle 4 the Giraffes!

  • erin

    I called the place in Arizona. It’s true. But they say they’re upgrading the giraffe’s digs to 150×150 which is still bs. they also own a motor sports/boat company which is who you get when you call. it’s bs. i’m doing an article on how terrible they are (i blame the holding co, not MJ)


  • erin – i stand corrected

    Ok I’d called yesterday but didn’t reach the owner directly. Now today I talked to the owner Freddie personally at length (just hung up with her) and would like to update my story. And want to say that I stand corrected. I think Freddie and her husband’s love is evident for these giraffes (there are four in total) First of all according to Freddie they were NEVER kept in 15×15 stalls. They do have an indoor area where they play but it is bigger than that and they always have access to a bigger outdoor area as well… and a run… until they are moved into the multi acreage sanctuary… They had a disgruntled employee (I will not go into detail as I was asked not to) but this person (who did some bad things) was upset when they let him go. He contacted Peta and anyone he could in the media (TMZ etc) to complain about the owners and the giraffes. I was invited personally to go there any time that I want to see them. They applied for their permits in may (they’re already a licensed non prof) but soon should have access to the larger preserve where these guys will be allowed to run long distances freely. Already, she explained, they are in an area that is bigger than most zoo’s. They are not a zoo and don’t have admission and aren’t even open to the public. They also have rescues and, as she explained, simply want to have a place for animals – rescue, abused, from other sanctuaries where they lose their homes (like Michael Jackson’s) where they might have a good home.

    I felt she was sincere and hope to be able to visit these guys someday and hope that soon they’ll be in their even bigger diggs and have lots of room to run.

    Just my two cents

    (I did call her too because I’m also writing a piece elsewhere about the whole story where I will now explain their side as well)


    • jane

      I live in Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation with family in Page,AZ. There are rumours that Michael Jackson was building a zoo or sanctuary there and had some African type animals brought in by semis. The semi truck that was carrying some of the animals namely lions and hyenas, wrecked and the lion and hyenas escaped. Reports have been made by area residents, including an elderly woman describing laughing dogs that have attacked all types of livestock. Is this true or has this story been twisted from a story about the animals previously owned by Michael Jackson and their placements since being on the Neverland ranch to a tall tale conjured up by someone on the reservation to somehow involve the Nation during the time the national spotlight was on the death of Michael Jackson? Just curious.

  • Debie

    When will people realize that Peta is one of the greatest threats to the lives of people and animals that we face today? Peta is a big lie. They only care about money and publicity…if they really cared they would help animals and they don’t help at all, they just yap yap yap to get publicity. I for one have done rescue out of my pocket most of my life and I am soooo sick of Peta.