Getting To Know Them Better

Noelle was born at a breeding facility in Miami. Her birth mother was hand-reared as a pet and was inexperienced in caring for infants, so Noelle was taken from her mother and was raised by a human family in Ft. Myers for part of her first year.

Noelle is very bright and quickly solves enrichment puzzles. She surprised the staff (when she was only 3 years old) by observing sign-language “words” shown to Grub and Kenya, and later forming the signs at the appropriate times.

Noelle “talks” to the staff frequently during the day in her own version of sign language. She’ll ask for her favorite treats or tell us that a tasty ginger-flower is in bloom near her enclosure. She watches the mulberry tree nearby and signs “berry, berry” when the mulberries turn black and are ripe. She asks volunteers for a game of “chase” and comments to us when she sees or hears a bird nearby. Noelle also knows the sign for “hurt” and will show us her cuts and scratches as well as sign “hurt, hurt, hurt” when she sees a visitor on crutches, in a sling, or in a wheelchair.

Noelle’s chimpanzee group consists of Brooks, Mowgli, Natsu, Kenya, and Chipper.

Back to Meet the Chimpanzee



Interesting Facts

  • Noelle is one of the few chimpanzees at the Center who can play with Knuckles. She seems to know that he is special and has been gentle with him when they play.
  • Her favorite foods are red peppers, corn, apples, and bananas. She dislikes turtles and grasshoppers and will “alarm hoot” at resident gopher tortoises at the sanctuary.
  • Noelle will occasionally have a meet-and-greet with our cerebral palsy challenged chimpanzee Knuckes.


It costs $22,000 a year to care for one of our apes. By symbolically adopting the ape of your choice for a one-time donation of $300 OR just $25 a month for one year, you are helping ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your orangutan or chimpanzee.

Can't Adopt?

In addition to cash donations, the Center for Great Apes is always in need of food, enrichment items, and supplies. We welcome gifts of all kinds.


Want to know what we need? We have a list of things we would like to have.

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