“All we have to do is give them half a chance. They’ll do the rest.”
—Carole Noon, Ph.D., founder of Save the Chimps
When Carole Noon, a wildlife biology student, attended a lecture given by Jane Goodall, it was a life-changing moment—for Carole herself, and, ultimately, for hundreds of rescued chimpanzees. She began working with Dr. Goodall on her ChimpanZoo program, which kindled the passion that would lead Dr. Noon in 1997 to establish the Save the Chimps sanctuary. Opening Doors: Carole Noon and her Dream to Save the Chimps tells the inspiring true story of how one woman’s vision and dedication altered the lives of so many, and paved the way for a more humane world.
Opening Doors chronicles Dr. Noon’s personal journey from ardent animal lover to powerful advocate; from her field work at the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia to her initial bid to rescue 141 Air Force chimpanzees, who had been used in early space exploration and were subsequently deemed “surplus material.” It also explores the ethical questions that drove her to create what is now the world’s largest sanctuary for chimps rescued from biomedical research, entertainment, and the pet trade.
Along the way we meet some of the chimpanzees who have found refuge at Save the Chimps and the devoted staff and volunteers who work to give the chimps a quality life. Poignant photographs throughout allow us to gaze into the eyes of the chimps, with whom we share 97 percent of our DNA and to read the history written on their faces—faces that are strikingly like our own.