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What Happened To The Monkey From Pirates Of The Caribbean?

After ride-based film Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of a Black Pearl became a big hit for Disney, the grand pirate adventure was spun off into a multimedia franchise. Among the characters who have persisted throughout the now-expansive story of the Pirates films (soon to include a Pirates of the Carribean 6) is Jack the Monkey. 

Perhaps most enduringly, Jack is the subject of an early exchange between antihero Jack Sparrow (the human, played by Johnny Depp) and Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush), the villain of the first movie. Barbosa thanks Jack after the monkey delivers him the gold medallion at the heart of the film's story. This prompts a haughty "you're welcome" from Captain Jack Sparrow. "Not you," Barbosa corrects the film's hero. "We named the monkey Jack."

Jack the Monkey continues to play a generally minor role over the course of the ensuing Pirates films. Though never all that important to the plot, he has nevertheless accompanied first Barbosa, and later Jack Sparrow, through appearances in each of the Pirates movies.

The nature of animals as actors means that Jack has been portrayed by a number of different monkeys from film to film, rather than one specific individual. That said, a recent TikTok video circulating online has revealed that Tara, one of the original monkeys to portray Jack, now "works" for a business called Animal Tracks.

Tara the monkey's ongoing career

Tara the capuchin monkey (a species that once allegedly raised a human girl in the wild) is one of two monkeys to have portrayed Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean. In the first Pirates, Jack duties were shared between Tara and a monkey named Levi. Then, in the subsequent films, Jack was portrayed by two monkeys named Chiquita and Pablo, according to Gold Coast Bulletin.

Though Tara may not have portrayed Jack for the longest amount of time, she nevertheless shares the honor of being one of the first to embody the role. It's due to that distinction that Tara's career has led her to now promoting Animal Tracks, a sanctuary for animals — celebrity or not — who are unable to live in the wild. Prior to the pandemic, visitors to Animal Tracks' location in Santa Clarita, California could visit its animals up close. Now, amidst the ongoing pandemic, Animal Tracks offers Zoom sessions with some of the animals in its care.

As one of Tara's caretakers explained in the recent Tik Tok video revealing the monkey's current whereabouts, Animal Tracks houses a number of ex-actor animals. Due to a life spent in captivity or otherwise under the purview of humans, the majority of Hollywood animals, if not all, are generally unfit to return to their natural habitats.

Tara is currently between 25 and 26 years old. The lifespan for a capuchin monkey can range from 15 to 45 years in length (via the Spruce Pets). In either case, Tara's caretaker says that Tara will remain at Animal Tracks for the remainder of her life.