As the world mourns Michael Jackson, the icon’s once most loyal companion Bubbles the chimp is alive and well in Florida, RadarOnline.com has learned. The 23-year-old primate- who had a bizarre human-like relationship with Jackson- is living and thriving at the Center For Great Apes.
“Bubbles is very fit and healthy and is doing really well,” a spokesperson for the center told RadarOnline.com. “We have had a lot of requests about information about him recently, so, we have updated his profile on our website.”
“Chimps like him are expected to live up to 60 years and at the moment he is in really good health.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on whether they had broken the bad news to the famous chimp.
Bubbles arrived at the facility in 2005 from a California preserve where Jackson sent him because he was getting too old and aggressive to be kept in the house alongside the singer’s three children. Jackson first got Bubbles from a Texas research facility and the chimp soon became his best pal. It was reported that Bubbles often ate at the dining table and would visit Jackson’s recording studio while he laid down tracks for the album Bad. Jackson also supposedly showered Bubbles with gifts including his own toilet and a crib (which was placed in the superstar’s bedroom).
Bubbles was immortalized in a statue by artist Jeff Koon which sold for $6.5 milllion. Jackson also took him on a tour of Japan.
The website describes Bubbles as ‘brawny’ but ‘tender’ and currently weighing 180 lbs. He is expected to get a lot more visitors from fans in the aftermath of his famous owner’s death.