July 2, 2009

Jacko’s Bubbles doing well at sanctuary

Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, has been living life outside the limelight, munching on bananas in a Florida ape sanctuary, a center official said.

Twenty years ago Bubbles gained fame as the pop singer's simian sidekick, touring with Jackson, posing for media, even moonwalking for the media, CNN reported.

But at age 26, Bubbles retired to the Center for Great Apes outside Wauchula, Fla., lazing around with 41 other chimpanzees and orangutans in the tropical forest setting covering more than 100 acres.

They relax. They take naps together. They might go up in the top of the cupola, said Patti Ragan, director for the Center for Great Apes, explaining how the apes spent their days. They go out in the chutes and lie under a tree in the tunnel system. They groom each other and they fight and they have arguments, too.

Jackson, who died June 25, purchased Bubbles when he was 5 months old. When the chimp became to much for Jackson to control, he was returned to his trainer, who then asked the center to take him in.