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​Michael Jackson's Pet Chimp Bubbles Is Still Alive And Well

​Michael Jackson's Pet Chimp Bubbles Is Still Alive And Well

After being taken in as Jackson’s new pet in the 1980s, Bubbles went on to become a huge star in his own right

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

While most of us are pretty content with a Labrador or guinea pig, singer Michael Jackson went a little more leftfield for his furry companion, having been the proud owner of a chimpanzee called Bubbles.

After being taken in as Jackson's new pet in the 1980s, Bubbles went on to become a huge star in his own right - starring in music videos, TV shows and movies, even touring with Jackson once when he went on a promotional tour in Japan.

While Bubbles initially lived in the Jackson family home in Los Angeles, he later moved to the Neverland Ranch, where he reportedly slept in a crib in the singer's bedroom and shared his toilet.

A statue of Jackson and Bubbles that was part of an exhibiton by Jeff Koons.

Over time, the chimp matured into a dominant adult male and was no longer safe living in such close proximity with humans, and was sent to an animal trainer before relocating to the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida - where Bubbles still lives to this day.

His showbiz lifestyle may feel like a distant memory, but by the looks of things he's enjoying his retirement in the Sunshine State.

Now a 185lb, 4.5ft adult male, Bubbles lives with a group of other chimpanzees that include his best friend Ripley, adult females Oopsie, Boma, Jessie and Kodua, and juvenile Stryker.

A bio on the sanctuary's website says: "Bubbles does not like cameras. Even when his caregivers try to take a photo, he will turn his back if he sees a camera.

"He occasionally will spit water at people when annoyed about cameras and is able to throw sand with amazing accuracy.

"However, he is extremely gentle with the youngsters, especially Stryker. In fact, when Stryker was a baby, he could often be seen riding around on Bubbles' back."

The bio explains that Bubbles is believed to have been born in a biomedical laboratory in 1983, and was taken from his mother as an infant to be given to a Hollywood trainer, before being handed over to Jackson as a pet.

Facebook/Center for Great Apes

"In such a bright limelight, it's no surprise that Bubbles soon gained fame - and many adoring fans - of his own," the sanctuary says, adding that Michael Jackson's Estate has 'continued to support the annual care costs for Bubbles at the sanctuary'.

A Facebook post in 2019 also debunked various rumours about Bubbles - including that he had once tried to kill himself - saying such comments were merely 'wild conjectures or false gossip'.

It said: "Even though many media gossip sources have invented false stories about Bubbles, he is in good health, receives generous support from the Estate of Michael Jackson, and will remain away from those who would exploit him."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, Michael Jackson, Animals