Jackson’s chimp abandoned by family

Michael Jackson’s beloved pet chimpanzee Bubbles is surviving on public donations to a Florida sanctuary in the wake of the singer’s death.

Michael Jackson’s beloved pet chimpanzee is surviving on public donations.

Bubbles became a world famous primate when he was rescued from a medical lab and adopted by the late superstar in 1983.

Michael took Bubbles everywhere with him for several years. The chimp often dressed in identical clothes to the singer and travelled to Japan with him on his Bad tour in 1987.

Since Michael died in 2009 little has been heard about the family pet.

UK newspaper The Mirror reports Bubbles in now living at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, thousands of miles away from his former California home.

The chimp was relocated to the facility in 2005.

Now 27-years-old, Bubbles is graying and barely recognisable from his days as the King of Pop’s sidekick.

Because he was not provided for in Michael’s will his minders must raise $20,000 a year to pay for his care.

“To this date, the chimps’ care money has come from solely from public donations,” a spokesperson for the facility said.

The singer’s estate still technically owns Bubbles.

Despite this staff at the Florida sanctuary told the newspaper he seems to have been forgotten by Michael’s family.

The late singer’s children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, have reportedly not been taken to see him since the move.

“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,” the spokesman explained.

La Toya famously visited Bubbles as part of a documentary she filmed for US network Animal Planet back into 2010.

She recalled how the chimp became a close part of the family.

“Bubbles became a human, one of us. He ate at the family table,” she said.

A source at the Center for Great Apes said Bubbles is still well taken care of.

“He is exceptionally well-looked after by the sanctuary but has effectively been abandoned by the Jacksons, despite their vast wealth,” the insider 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.”
Copyright: Cover Media 2013

Thursday, 11. April 2013