Bubbles, a chimpanzee previously owned by Michael Jackson, has celebrated his 40th birthday.
Back in 1983, the late King of Pop – who passed away in 2009 at the age of 50 – bought his beloved chimp as an infant from a Texas research facility.
The pampered primate was soon living a life of glam with the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker in his home at Neverland ranch and even slept in a crib in Jackson’s bedroom.
Fast-forward four decades later, Bubbles has just turned 40 years old and has traded touring, traveling on jets, and appearing on TV for a well-earned retirement.
Check out Bubbles’ birthday party:
The chimpanzee was given a new home in the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida. The staffers put on a bubble-themed party to celebrate her big day, with food, friends, and even some lady apes.
The organization shared pictures of the festivity on Instagram, writing: “40 and FABULOUS! Chimpanzee Bubbles turned 40 this month and had a bubble-themed party today with his friends Oopsie, Boma, Jessie, and Ripley!”
“The girls were focused on the food treats, but Bubbles was more interested in greeting visitors and looking at all the decorations,” they added.
Patti Ragan, the founding director at the center, spoke more about the landmark day, sharing: “He did get a cake – but it’s a special ape-healthy cake,” adding, “We frost it with mashed bananas and add a little bit of blue food coloring… and then we wrote his name in blueberries,” according to The New York Post.
As aforementioned, the primate had a Bubbles-themed party which Ragan said included a “bubble bath” and “paper bubbles everywhere”.
The chimp was described as a generous host, with the founding direction revealing: “He just wanted to see who was visiting. He came and looked at all the staff that had come to be there for the party.”
Bubbles was deemed too large around 1989, so he was moved into the California ranch owned by trainer Bob Dunn as his size was unsuitable as a pet. He is now just under 5 feet tall and weighs about 185 pounds.
“When he became too big to be around people, maybe about 6 or 7 years old, Michael Jackson’s trainer had him with his other chimps,” Ragan explained.
There have multiple media reports that the famous chimp once tried to commit suicide or that he was allegedly abused under the ‘Billie Jean’ singer’s care.
However, the employer has spoken out against the latter rumor to the publication, disclosing: “That is ludicrous. I’ve never seen him depressed. We’ve had him 18 years now. He’s been a very sweet and gentle chimp.”
She also set the record straight with another tale that Bubbles is the wealthiest chimp in the world because he was left with $2 million dollars in the late singer’s will.
“That’s not true at all. Michael’s estate helps us towards the annual care for Bubbles, but there was nothing in the will,” Pagen revealed.