Nosey is an elephant who’s being held captive by a notorious exhibitor named Hugo Liebel. Liebel uses Nosey for rides and shows—forcing her to perform unnatural tricks so that he can make money. Liebel has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for nearly 200 animal-welfare violations.
Most of these USDA citations have been related to Liebel’s mistreatment of Nosey, including repeatedly chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and denying her necessary veterinary care.
Constant chaining and the rigors of performing are known to result in arthritis in captive elephants, and these grueling conditions have taken their toll on Nosey.
Nosey is now showing signs of chronic pain. A veterinary expert has warned that she is likely suffering from arthritis—a medical condition that’s agonizing for captive elephants and can even be a death sentence for them.
Video footage shows Nosey limping and hobbling in pain as she’s forced to entertain crowds—either by giving them rides or performing unnatural and agonizing tricks.
Despite Nosey’s well-documented history of chronic pain, a recent (and very flawed) veterinary visit cleared Nosey for more exhibitions and rides. Here’s why: The USDA decided not to show the veterinarians who saw Nosey the video footage documenting her pain. Veterinarians apparently weren’t even made aware of Nosey’s medical history.
When Hugo Liebel isn’t hauling the ailing elephant around the country, he’s forcing her to give rides at seedy flea markets and fairs in Florida while he lies low for the winter.
Not only is Liebel’s handling of Nosey cruel, it’s also a danger to the people who pay to watch or ride her. Nosey has already attacked at least one person, who was sent to the hospital, and the USDA has cited Liebel again and again for endangering the public—yet his handling practices haven’t changed. Liebel continues to use a bullhook—a heavy, sharp weapon (imagine a fireplace poker) that’s known to trigger aggression in elephants—to strike Nosey in an attempt to control her.
Nosey’s heartbreaking and disturbing story is hard to hear. Her misery and pain are obvious and well documented, yet the USDA still hasn’t confiscated her. Any elephant who’s forced into captivity and used for entertainment has a sad story to tell, but Nosey’s just might be one of the saddest.
You can help: Take action for Nosey HERE.