In the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, Neal Rubin of the Detroit News wondered: Whatever happened to Bubbles the chimpanzee? “For a while, Bubbles appeared to be Jackson’s best friend, which was sort of sad for both of them,” Rubin writes. The odd coupling lasted from 1985, when Jackson adopted 3-year-old Bubbles from a cancer research center, to 2003, when the chimp’s aggressive behavior threatened Michael’s real baby.
After all, “you wouldn't want a chimp dangling a baby over a hotel balcony or anything dangerous like that,” Rubin observes. He went into investigative mode and found that Bubbles was relocated to an animal trainer’s California compound. In short, “he’s 26 and living like a wild animal, as opposed to dressing in costumes, wearing a diaper, and sharing the bathroom of an internationally famous musician.”