Michael Jackson's Chimp Bubbles Abandoned By Jackson Family
Posted by Joseph Lee on 04.12.2013
They haven't visited him in years...
The Mirror reports that Michael Jackson's pet chimp Bubbles has been abandoned by the Jackson Family. The chimp now lives in a animal shelter, much older (at the age of 27), listening to Michael Jackson on an old CD and eating sweet potatoes.
Bubbles traveled around the world with Jackson, even joining him on his 1987 Bad tour of Japan. He mimicked Jackson's Moonwalk and was spotted at premieres, concerts and album signings. But now he is living in Florida with grey hair and much heavier. The staff at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula said that Michael's children (Prince, Paris and Blanket) have not seen the primate since his relocation in 2005.
A spokesman said: "Michael's sister La Toya paid a visit here about two years ago but that's the only visit we have had from a member of the Jackson family."
Bubbles was not provided for in Jackson's will and the staff have to raise the annual $19,970 to take care of him. La Toya last visited him in 2010 filming a special with Animal Planet. She said that the chimp "became human" and used to "eat at the table with us" and said he used to walk to the fridge and get himself some Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
She told Bubbles: "I miss you – I haven't seen you in ages…I wanna kiss you and hug you and I know I can't because you're so big. I think you remember me, don't you?"
Jackson's estate has earned over $300 million since his death in 2009. Bubbles, still owned by the estate, isn't the only forgotten animal. Elephants, giraffes and tigers were moved after Jackson's 2,600-acre Californian ranch Neverland had financial problems.
A source said: "For someone who cared so passionately about animals, most have been forgotten – more so now Michael has passed away. It's a really sad situation."
Jackson originally rescued Bubbles from a Texas medical lab and had him raised by an animal trainer before he officially adopted him in 1983. He took the animal everywhere, including afternoon tea with a Japanese mayor. Bubbles slept in a cot next to his bed and wore similar outfits to Jackson (even his surgeon's masks). The monkey was the subject of a sculpture by artist Jeff Koons when ended up selling £3.8million in 2001.
After the birth of Jackson's son Prince Michael Jr, Bubbles was ruled too dangerous to be around children and was sent to live with Hollywood animal trainer Bob Dunn. As his health and financial problems increased, he stopped visiting Bubbles, who ended up in the sanctuary.
Workers say that Bubbles is well-cared for and spends his time watching TV and listening to music.
A source said: "It is a world away from the life he once knew, but Bubbles seems all the happier for it. It's just sad that no one visits. He is exceptionally well-looked after by the sanctuary but has effectively been abandoned by the Jacksons, despite their vast wealth. To this date, the chimps' care money has come from solely from public donations."