Michael Jackson's chimpanzee Bubbles 'living the good life'

Bubbles the chimpanzee is now 41 credit:Bang Showbiz
Bubbles the chimpanzee is now 41 credit:Bang Showbiz

Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee Bubbles is "living the good life" in his later years.

The iconic musician - who passed away in 2009 - bought his primate pal from a Texas research facility in the 1980s but he was sent to the Center for Great Apes in 2005, and the 41-year-old chimp has a "lot of freedom" at the sanctuary.

Patti Ragan, director at the facility, told TMZ Bubbles is able to explore tunnels, build a nest under a tree, take daily midday naps and occasionally even paint, while his welfare is regularly checked by a vet and caregiver staff.

Bubbles - who weighs around 180lbs - is described as friendly and interacts well with visitors and other animals, including fellow chimpanzees Oopsie, Boma, Ripley, Kodua, and Stryker.

Although Michael's music and videos are regularly played for the chimps, Bubbles doesn't appear to show a preferance for the 'Thriller' hitmaker's sons.

The Michael Jackson Estate has continued to care for Bubbles in the aftermath of the 'Billie Jean' singer's death, contributing to his annual care costs, which come in at around $27,000 per year.

Michael's attorney and family members have also made the effort to visit the sanctuary in recent years, where they have enjoyed "sweet" encounters with the creature.

In addition, Michael's fanclub regularly sends treats for Bubbles such as coconuts, mangos and blankets, which he enjoys curling up with during his nap times.

Tuesday (25.06.24) marks 15 years since the 'Bad' hitmaker passed away, but the sanctuary has no plans to commemorate the anniversary.

The average life span of a chimpanzee in captivity is around 50-60 years old.

Toto guitarist Steve Lukather previously told how Michael had to stop bringing Bubbles to the recording studio when he was recording his 'Thriller' album because the primate caused so much chaos.

He told Ultimate Guitar magazine: "He stopped bringing him to the studio because he tore apart the vocal booth and threw s*** against the wall at Westlake Audio.

"Man, that monkey just ripped that f******* vocal booth to shreds. I think they banned ol' Bubbles from the studio after that.

"But Michael was cool, man, he was a pro. He'd sing his ass off in the studio. He knew what he wanted and I guess he loved what we did. He kept hiring us.”