Nosey the elephant finally on her way to retirement

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In Moulton, Alabama, Nosey the elephant was led onto a trailer headed to an elephant sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee – on her way to retirement; at least we all hope. Earlier on Thursday, a judge in Lawrence County ordered county officials to seize the elephant and four horses affiliated to a small family traveling circus.

According to WhntNews19, the decision about the animals comes following accusations of mistreatment and animal neglect and abuse. At the three-hour hearing, an elephant behavioral expert, a retired veterinarian and the Lawrence County animal control officer along with circus owners testified. The company called American Family Circus had been transporting the animals from Orlando to Gadsden and stopped in Moulton for brake repairs where they had been for the last several days.

Calls to Animal Services prompted officers to examine Nosey; according to the District Attorney’s Office, Nosey had marks on her legs from being chained. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) promised they won’t stop fighting for Nosey and other imprisoned elephants until they are all free:

“The lame elephant found tightly chained, confined in her own waste, and without proper shelter, was removed from conditions very familiar to all who have tracked her abuse for years. PETA thanks local authorities for seizing Nosey and the court for its decision today to transfer this long-suffering elephant into caring hands. PETA pledges to continue working in her behalf until she’s settled in a spacious sanctuary home at last.”

So what about Nosey? Taken from her mother at two-years-old and shipped from Africa to the United States, Nosey has been forced to perform her entire life. Why doesn’t she get to retire from performing, from giving rides, from traveling around the country in a small, cramped prison on wheels?  For anyone not familiar with her, she is a 35-year-old African elephant with the Great American Family Circus; she is owned by Florida resident Hugo “Tom” Liebel who has and continues to cart her across the country for the last 30 years.

Advocates continued to peacefully protest Nosey’s sad plight. Nosey’s owners disagreed and stated they regard the elephant as part of their family and insisted she is treated very well. To the contrary however, the owners have been cited by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for nearly 200 animal-welfare violations; the most recent appearing this past June:

“June 16, 2017: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) denied Liebel’s application to renew his permit to possess Nosey in Florida on the grounds that he “withheld itinerary information” and submitted “materially false information” to the agency. Liebel had told the FWC that he didn’t have any current travel itineraries, which the agency confirmed was false.”

Concerned animal lovers just want Nosey retired to a sanctuary where she can live and mingle with other elephants. For nearly her entire life, the elephant has lived a solitary existence. During the past few years, government officials have become involved fighting for her freedom; urging the Secretary of Agriculture to remove Nosey. In 2016, New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak sponsored a bill called “Nosey’s Law” which would end the traveling circus elephants across the state of New Jersey – making it the first state to enforce such a law that animal lovers across the country continue to support.

The Liebel family do have some supporters, but mostly owners of other animal acts who also travel around with their four-legged performers – willing or unwilling. It’s not much of a convincing platform supporting circus elephants forced to perform as most of the American population have spoken out against all animal acts in circuses.

We have long regarded elephants as being extremely intelligent and possessing deep emotions towards their herds and their offspring. Isn’t it about time, Nosey got to be an elephant and live by her own rules?

Follow along on the Facebook page Nosey the Elephant Needs our Help.

Read previous article here.

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18 replies
  1. Cynthia Como says:

    WOW!!!! This makes me so happy….been following Nosey’s situation for awhile now!!! So relieved Nosey’s tortuerous existence has finally come to an end…..THANK YOU GOD!!!!

  2. Adrienne says:

    Having been following Nosey for years, and Liebell is the worst owner there is having countless USDA and other animal welfare charges against him, yet somehow he was allowed to keep Nosey. A family oriented elephant being alone all this time. I pray that her release to the elephant Sanctuary in Tenn. happens quickly and we see joyous pictures of her meeting the other elephants, some of whom she might even remember.

  3. patricia o;donnell says:

    I am so happy for Nosey that she is now free. Please God don’t let him get her back again. When she starts to see other elephants and walk on grass and get good food and water and get a wash often she will be so happy. Thank you to all who made this possible.

  4. ellen cottone says:

    oh finally,
    he is going to let her go.
    I wonder after all these years what made him see the light.
    Thank You God and all the Angles and Saints.
    I know with out a doubt that everone here has pititioned and protested for this poor suffering child,

    It was very hard to watch as so many other elephant captors relinquished their slaves.
    This is a win for all those who spoke out and screamed it in the streets,
    in the real and in our dreams. Today noesy does the victory walk.
    The Best Elephant Walk ever.
    Dont forget to wave good by to all your friends.
    And dont forget to thumb your Nosey at your enemys.
    The Better Days are finally here.
    And so are you.

    Thank you Peta For being the first. Thank you for never letting up on this guy. Thank You for never giving him a minutes peace.
    Thank you for being relentless and Thank you for giving me a very small part in helping. Another victory you will barly get the credit for.

    Now if you will excuse me I will be getting my coat and putting on 2 differant shoes and doing the elephant walk down the street with my trunk in the air, telling every one I meet Noesy breaths free and will be going to the good place to be among friends.

  5. Marie Madden says:

    This is definitely answered prayer. Thank you Jesus! I have been following poor Nosey’s plight for several years. Several calls to USDA and Fish & Wildlife and a letter to ex president Obama which fell on deaf ears. This is a miracle. Fish & Wildlife did conduct a welfare check on Nosey each time I called and there was always food and water available but unfortunately not available for poor Nosey to eat and drink. Mr. Liebel belongs in jail for severe felony animal abuse. This is such a thrill to know that Nosey’s suffering is finally over.

  6. ellen cottone says:

    nobody wants to go to your circus tom.
    when are you going to get that thru your fat head.

    And stop calling this elephant that you stole from a dead mother as a baby and beat into submission as you ripped his baby ears into shreads family,
    Hes not family, you killed his family and stole him from his family.

    the really disgusting thing about you and your family of pigs is,
    you paid to have its mother killed and you chose an africa elephant so when the time comes you Thought You would reap the treasure of harvesting his tusks so you can sell them to china as your families bonus. Ya know for ya troubles and all. yea , family.

    sorry!! Its all over for you and your pitiful outdated entertainment for simps. Let the dam elephant go tom . Its over. its a shame you broke down in this part of have been out manureved by pita. Who laid in wait . Now that Peta has him Youll never get him back .Peta will make sure you go broke trying to get him back as your piss poor family scam of an operation is drivin into the ground.
    Say good by to your money train you bunch of clowns

  7. susispot says:

    Can this be true? FINALLY! I want to see Nosey meeting her kind at the sanctuary. It will do every supporter’s heart good.

  8. Nancy Raymond says:

    Why isn’t this maggot Liebel in jail??? He has been cited over and over again for animal cruelty and nothing is done – AND Nosey was allowed to suffer for years because of authorities not doing their job – I HOPE this is the end of her days of slavery – she so well deserves to spend the remainder of her life in peace and with other elephants. Liebel should be shackled in a jail cell so he can’t mover, forced to live in his own waste and given exactly the same mercy he gave Nosey – NONE!

  9. Ellen Cottone says:

    noeseys owners have been arested 2 days before christmas.
    Ass in hand cuffs,
    on animal abuse charges and noesy is indeed at the United states largest elephant sanctuar in Tennessee munching on a pumpkin as we speak.
    But she is in the mists of a custody battle.
    We can thank crafty Alabama authority for doing what many could not. Find this traveling horror show circus and find an opportunity to intervene.
    You people are awesome, now noesy because of your quick thinking have found away around the law in the elephants behalf.
    you are a great hero and you made rite a terrible injustice to a living feeling creature in captivity.
    And you mister police man , who discovered Hugo the circus owner in the nite broke down and heading in a train yard with his cold , arthritic shivering indignant elephant prisoner.
    He really finally pulled the curtain down on you for good.
    The irony is not lost on me that this policeman was, like Jesus a carpenter also.
    Before you could patch things up and make it to another town unhappy elephant in tow, he called ” citation for unsafe travel” you couldn’t limp away from these guys Hugo, with ya broke down circus.

    Once he saw the pitiful condition of a cold unhappy animal standing in his own waste.
    Now you pay.



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