May 12, 2009 • Posted in Related News
NEAVS/Project R&R joins the community of animal protection and conservation, her family and friends, and all chimpanzees everywhere in grieving the recent death of Dr. Carole Noon, Founder and Director of Save the Chimps, the world’s largest sanctuary for chimpanzees rescued from research and other areas of use and abuse. Dr. Noon died on May 2, 2009. She was 59 years old.
An icon of commitment, care, and visionary leadership, Dr. Noon will forever be remembered for her intelligence, passion, wit, and work on behalf of captive chimpanzees.
Dr. Noon established Save the Chimps (originally known as the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care) in 1997 in response to the U.S. Air Force announcing that they were ending their use of chimpanzees in research.
Instead of being released into sanctuary, the majority of the Air Force chimpanzees were sent to a biomedical laboratory for continuing use in research. STC sued the Air Force and after a year-long legal battle, they were successful in gaining custody of 21 chimpanzees, some of whom had been originally captured in Africa and used for Air and Space research. These former Air Force chimpanzees were later relocated to Dr. Noon’s sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. Then, in 2002, Dr. Noon rescued 266 more chimpanzees from the notorious Coulston Foundation, a private New Mexico biomedical research lab with a horrific history of animal welfare violations.
Today, many of the chimpanzees have already been transferred to their permanent home in Florida—an expansive 150 acres of island sites. Eventually all of the New Mexico chimpanzees will also permanently reside in Florida. For most, Florida is the first time they have seen the world without bars. Thanks to Dr. Noon and the Arcus Foundation, which funded the Coulston rescue, the chimpanzees can spend their days in large family units, roaming freely on their islands and getting plenty of sunshine, fresh air and shady spots to rest.
Dr. Noon is survived by her sisters, Lee Asbeck of Boca Raton, FL and Kay Shelton of Leesburg, FL. A memorial service will be announced on the savethechimps.org website.