About Magic

Since the Wildlife Waystation never breeds animals, all of our male chimpanzees have had vasectomies. So in 2004, the Waystation staff was quite surprised to discover that Ernesta, a 10 year old chimp, was pregnant – the result of a failed vasectomy. A few months later, a beautiful baby girl we named Magic was born! Because Ernesta was raised in a biomedical research laboratory, she was not able to live with and observe her mother, so the staff was concerned that she would not know how to care for her new infant. Thankfully, Ernesta exceeded everyone’s expectations; the two bonded instantly and clearly loved one another from the start. And this new mother had help raising Magic, as other chimpanzees in the group took on the role of teacher, aunt and uncle. Charlie Chuckles quickly became like a grandfather to Magic, and was often seen tickling her, playing chase, and sharing food with her. Another female in the group, Shake, would take over the motherly role, often letting Magic ride along on her back and cuddling with her. We could not have asked for a better family situation for this “surprise” baby chimp.

Today, Magic continues to live with her wonderful chimpanzee family. She is a very chimp-centric chimp, taking little interest in the animal caregivers and spending most of her time grooming other chimps and napping in the sun with her mother, Ernesta, and her family. Magic’s hair is still a light chocolate brown color, rather than the typical dark brown or black seen with adult chimpanzees, as she is still young. And even though she is smaller than the other five chimps in her group, Magic holds her own. She can often be seen instigating games of tag or chase around the enclosure with her ape family.