Summer 2009 Newsletter

A Life Well Spent: Dr. Carole C. Noon

On May 2, 2009, primatologist and chimpanzee advocate Dr. Carole Noon died from pancreatic cancer. She spent her life championing the rights of chimpanzees. She worked tirelessly for their release from their deplorable plights in captivity, and toward life-long sanctuary in natural habitats through Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, FL., the organization she founded in 1997.

Dr. Noon recognized a kinship with chimpanzees that impassioned her determination and fueled her work on their behalf. Chimpanzees are the closest relations to humans in the animal kingdom, closer to humans than they are even to the other great apes, gorillas and orangutans. Humans and chimpanzees share over 98% of their DNA, with remarkable mental, emotional, and behavioral similarities as well. It was unfathomable to Dr. Noon that chimpanzees were subjugated to horrific lives as subjects in medical laboratories, as ill-conceived pets or as the brunt of demeaning humor in the entertainment industry.

One of Dr. Noon's major victories for chimpanzees occurred in 2002 right here in New Mexico. Working with the Arcus Foundation, In Defense of Animals, and Animal Protection of New Mexico, Dr. Noon was able to secure the release of 266 chimpanzees from the infamous Coulston Foundation, an abysmal biomedical research laboratory in Alamogordo, NM. Over half of the chimpanzees have already been moved to the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida. To understand the full magnitude of this critical action, please read the original story at:

Dr. Noon's legacy is enormous. She is a stellar reminder that it is still possible to affect change in the world. She has raised public awareness about the inhumanity that humans have perpetrated upon their nearest kin in the animal kingdom. Foremost are the hundreds of chimpanzees who no longer suffer in darkness and isolation and are now spending their lives in the sun and fresh air, among trees and grass and with each other. Dr. Noon was their champion and hero. The world is a better place for the way she chose to spend her life.

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