Bubbles headshot

Getting To Know Them Better

Bubbles was reportedly born in a biomedical laboratory. While still an infant, he was taken from his mother and given to a Hollywood trainer, who then gave him to be a pet chimpanzee for the world-famous pop singer Michael Jackson. In such a bright limelight, it’s no surprise that Bubbles soon gained fame—and many adoring fans—of his own. He appeared in television shows, movies, and music videos. When he was only four years old, he went to Japan on a promotional tour with Jackson.

A couple of years later, when Bubbles grew too strong to be around people, he was “retired” from show biz and sent to the trainer’s California animal compound. Bubbles arrived at the Center for Great Apes in March 2005 with a large group of chimpanzees, all from the entertainment world.

Jackson always maintained ownership of Bubbles, his first and favorite chimpanzee, whom he treated like a son. After his death, Michael Jackson’s Estate has continued to support the annual care costs for Bubbles at the sanctuary.

As a physically imposing 185-pound, 4½-foot adult male, Bubbles is now treated as the dominant male in his group of chimpanzees that includes his best friends, Ripley and Oopsie, as well as Boma and Jessie.

Bubbles enjoys quiet moments and painting. He gives the canvas back only when he is finished and does not limit his painting to the canvas!

Back to Meet the Chimpanzee



Interesting Facts

  • Despite the fact that he is very photogenic, Bubbles is difficult to photograph because he does not like the camera. He often will turn his back when he sees a camera.
  • Bubbles will occasionally spit water or throw sand (with amazing accuracy) at strangers, just to see how they react.
  • Bubbles’ caregivers consider him to be artistic, gentle, and shy


Caring for one of our apes costs over $27,000 a year. By symbolically adopting the ape of your choice, you are helping ensure your orangutan or chimpanzee's health, safety, and well-being.

Can't Adopt?

In addition to cash donations, the Center for Great Apes is always in need of food, enrichment items, and supplies. We welcome gifts of all kinds.


Want to know what we need? We have a list of things we would like to have.

Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation, Inc. dba Center for Great Apes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, FEID 65-0444725.

© 2020 Center for Great Apes. All Rights Reserved.

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