Remembering a Hero – Dr. Carole Noon
Four years ago today, our dear founder, Dr. Carole Noon, passed away of pancreatic cancer at her home at Save the Chimps. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed, because her spirit and memory are still very present at the sanctuary. The road leading to Save the Chimps bears her name. Her portrait hangs in her home, photos of her can be found on desks and walls throughout the sanctuary, kitchen, and offices. The staff who knew her and worked with her still ask themselves, “What would Dr. Noon do?”
Dr. Noon’s voice is best preserved in her own writings, which she referred to as Carole’s Chimp Diary. Her diary was not a traditional journal, but rather a collection of emails, writings, and musings that she shared with her closest friends and supporters of the sanctuary. Carole’s Chimp Diary entries range from sorrowful to amusing but all of them celebrate the chimpanzees she loved so deeply.
Please enjoy this excerpt from Carole’s Chimp Diary (written in 2004 when Garfield was thirteen and JB was one) as we honor and remember the woman whose vision, spirit, and determination made Save the Chimps possible. Thank you for your continued support of the chimpanzees. They are, as Carole always said, amazing people.
“A few nights ago at dinner Jennifer and her son, JB, were missing from the lineup. Apparently JB had decided it was time to play on top of one of the hills as Jennifer watched from below. Jennifer wanted to come in for dinner and was crying but JB had other things on his mind. Twice, Jennifer tried to retrieve him, but the little guy was not cooperating.
It is important to know this as it adds to the story—each meal consists of three courses, for instance, a fruit, a vegetable, and a grain like pasta or rice. We serve something special at dinner, a fruit smoothie in a cup. The chimps love their smoothies.
Jennifer had been whining from the island all through dinner and now it is smoothie time. Apparently, Garfield has heard enough and sussed out the situation. He leaves the building without waiting to get his smoothie and walks out to the island. Garfield climbs the hill where JB is playing, engages the baby, and JB follows Garfield down the hill where Jennifer is waiting to pick him up and carry him back inside. Garfield returns and gets his smoothie of course, and Jennifer gets the dinner we saved for her.
I have seen plenty of amazing chimp stuff but you have to agree this is cool. Jennifer needs help and gets none for some time. Garfield figures out the situation from inside while eating dinner and then comes up with a plan. He makes a straight line towards the baby, gets JB down the hill, solves Jennifer’s problem in an instant, and makes it back in time for his smoothie.
I swear, all of us humans were swooning as we watched this most genius move. This is just the clever way a young male makes his way to being the leader and wooing the females, being helpful and being smart.
"These chimpanzees, they are amazing people."
-Carole Noon, August 15, 2004
It’s worth noting that Carole’s prediction about Garfield’s future role was right on the money. He is today the alpha male and leader of a family of 22 chimpanzees, including Jennifer, JB, and other chimpanzees rescued from research and the pet trade.
Donate in memory of
Adopt Garfield in memory of
Dr. Carole Noon
Enjoy this video tribute to Dr. Carole Noon.
|*filmed in 2006|
For those of you who did not have the pleasure of meeting Dr. Noon, we hope this video gives you some idea of the remarkable woman she was
-a woman who truly defies description and definition.
If you knew Dr. Noon, we hope you find that this video captures a bit of her essence and personality, and brings back fond memories of her.
Click here to view photos of Dr. Noon and read her biography
To provide and build support for permanent sanctuary for the lifelong care of chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, entertainment, and the pet trade.