One has to wonder if La Toya Jackson knocked back a few Red Bulls prior to her onscreen time for Animal Planet’s special, “Michael Jackson and Bubbles: The Untold Story” based on the rapid-fire pace with which she rambles on and on about the impending reunion she’s about to have with her brother’s chimpanzee, Bubbles.
Oh, you don’t remember Bubbles? Back in the 80s, Michael Jackson rescued the then 8 month old primate from a Texas research facility that habitually uses all the animals born under their care for medical testing. The newly adopted mini-Jackson then became a close part of the pop singer’s entourage, enjoying the often human-like privileges of sleeping in a crib right inside his bedroom, using his bathroom, experiencing global adventures such as touring Japan and sporting coordinating daddy-and-me outfits.
Wild animals eventually do mature and as Jackson’s chimpanzee aged, the King of Pop acknowledged that he became rather aggressive, ‘overly pugnacious’ and could no longer be kept as a companion. Instead, Bubbles was transported to a sanctuary owned by famous Hollywood animal trainer Bob Dunn in 2003 (where the animal purportedly attempted to commit suicide), and just one year later when the facility closed, Bubbles was relocated to Florida’s Center For Great Apes where he currently resides with 41 other primates and is cared for via the generous donations of the public (at a cost of roughly $17,000 each year).
Now clocking in at 160 pounds, Bubbles – who could conceivably live to be 60 years old – hangs out with his best buddy Sam (a 40 year old chimp), enjoys exploring a tunnel system of chutes, listens to flute music and even engages in painting.
La Toya, who says that she “would love to know if Bubbles still remembers me…it’s been about 20-something years since I’ve seen him last” didn’t exactly enjoy the warm reunion she was hoping for despite turning on the waterworks. The seemingly apathetic chimpanzee engaged in an initially intimidating posture, poising to spit her but then reeled it in while La Toya claimed that “I think he kind of remembers me, guys…he’s just kind of being shy with it.” Through her tears, she then repeated over and over, “You remember me, don’t you Bubbles? I wanna kiss you, I wanna hug you, but I know I can’t because you’re so big.” Just let it go La Toya…let it go.
Via Oh The Scandal