Michael Jackson’s former pet chimp, Bubbles, reportedly can’t stand any reminders of the singer, reports Radar Online.
The 35-year-old chimp currently lives at the Centre for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, where he shares an enclosure with four adult females and three other males. His keepers avoid any reminders of the animal’s former life on Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
Staff there apparently won’t even show the chimpanzee photos of Jackson in case it upsets him.
Centre co-founder Patti Ragan said viewing pictures of the pop star is restricted in case they make Bubbles “angry or depressed.”
Following all the press from the controversial HBO Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, it’s claimed that Bubbles is being kept far away from any mention of the singer.
Radar Online had previously reported that, according to The Times of India, the chimp allegedly tried to kill himself in 2003 after Jackson was charged with child molestation.
According to the publication, Bubbles had been moved away from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch earlier that year amid fears he could be a danger to Jackson’s children: Prince, Paris, and Michael Jr.
Ragan has denied that Bubbles has attempted to harm himself.
Allegations have also arose over past treatment of the chimp, most notably by famous primatologist Jane Goodall. Goodall said that while at Neverland, Bubbles had been punched in the face and kicked in the stomach.
“When he was with Michael he was being beaten,” Goodall said. She did not implicate Jackson in any of the abuse.
However, Goodall said that she’d “ticked” off Jackson when asking him about Bubbles’ condition.
Also, La Toya Jackson’s ex-husband, Jack Gordon, has claimed that he personally witnessed Jackson hurting the chimp.
The Jackson family has denied claims that the singer was abusive toward Bubbles. The family has apparently had no contact or visitation with the animal, and he was reportedly not provided for the pop star’s will.
Bubbles became a star for living with Jackson, who regularly carried him out for photo ops.
“We’re happy to hear Bubbles is doing well. Michael absolutely loved him and would never, ever have mistreated him,” a spokesman for the Jackson family said to the Daily Star.
An animated movie about Bubbles is being planned for 2019.
“It’s going to tell the story of this chimp’s incredible journey from birth in a medical lab to adoption by a famous pop star when he was eight months old, told through Bubbles’ eyes,” said an insider.