Carole C. Noon

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Carole Cooney Noon (July 13, 1949 – May 2, 2009) was an American anthropologist and primatologist best known for founding (in 1997) Save the Chimps, a Florida non-profit chimpanzee sanctuary[1] that is the largest such sanctuary in the world as of 2009.[2]

Carole Cooney Noon
Born Carole Jean Cooney
July 13th, 1949
Died May 2nd, 2009
Fields Primatology, Anthropology
Notable awards Jane Goodall Award

Early life[edit]

Noon was born in Portland, Oregon on July 13, 1949 to William and Dorothy Cooney.[1] She grew up on an island in the South Pacific where her father ran a ship salvage operation. She then moved with her mother and two sisters to Honolulu, Hawaii.[1] After a divorce, Noon, her mother, and two sisters moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she went to school.[1]


Noon earned a bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University.[1] She then earned a master's in anthropology and a doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Florida, specializing in captive chimpanzees.[1] She conducted much of her field research at the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia.[1][3]


Noon founded Save the Chimps in 1997.[1] In 1999, she bought 150 acres[1] of land in Fort Pierce, Florida to build her sanctuary.[2]

When the United State Air Force decided to sell their retired space chimps to the Coulston Foundation in 2000, Noon sued them for custody.[2] She was granted custody of 21 chimpanzees later that year.[2] In 2002, the Coulston Foundation went bankrupt, and with a $3.7 million grant from the Arcus Foundation, Noon was able to buy the research facility with the remaining chimpanzees. The addition of 266 chimpanzees had made Save the Chimps the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world.[2]

In 2004 she won the Jane Goodall Award for Lifetime Dedication to the Care of Chimpanzees.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Noon was married to Michael Noon, but ended in divorce.[1]


Noon died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Weber, Bruce (May 7, 2009). "Carole C. Noon, Who Founded Save the Chimps, Dies at 59". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Big chimp refuge offers life with no cages". The Gainesville Sun. Associated Press. September 4, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ Garner, Bryan (May 6, 2009). "'Save the Chimps' founder dies". WPTV. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Jane Goodall Award goes to Carole Noon, head of Save the Chimps". Jane Goodall Institute. May 6, 2004. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 

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