Elephants are beautiful, wonderfully dynamic creatures. The more we learn about these creatures, the more it becomes blaringly apparent that they should NEVER be used for the sake of human entertainment. Elephants kept in zoos or in the circus are deprived of being able to perform their natural behaviors, and as highly emotional and social beings, this causes incredible stress and pain to an elephant. Beyond this, elephants who are used for entertainment are trained to do so by way of a “breaking” process, involving isolation and physical abuse that causes the animal to lose all will to live or disobey their captors.
Most people who attend shows, or events that offer elephant rides do not realize that the animal that they are interacting with had to undergo a process of this nature. This is why the news of the suffering currently being endured by Nosey the elephant is even more heartbreaking.
Nosey the elephant is currently owned by Hugo “Tommy” Liebel – who has been in possession of the elephant since 1988. Liebel has a deep history of violating the Animal Welfare Act. According to PETA, Liebel has been cited for violations 200 times and was forced to pay fines for three dozen violations in the past year alone.
The Huffington Post reports that while under Liebel’s care, Nosey has been tortured by “electric shock, bull hooks, sledgehammers, shovels and starvation.” Additionally, “in 2004 she turned on her trainer in desperation, ramming and tossing him, and causing head injuries that required stitches.”
In an effort to escape the reputation that comes with these incidents, Liebel changes Nosey’s name for each performance – she will often perform under the names “Dumbo” or “Tiny.”
To make matters worse, Nosey has developed severe arthritis and is still being forced to carry paying customers on her back. PETA has video footage of this poor elephant limping, unable to bend her back left leg, the elephant compensates by balancing on her three other legs, swinging her lame leg around to follow.
According to PETA, “A board-certified zoo veterinarian with decades of experience with elephants recently characterized Nosey’s case as ‘the worst, most prolonged, documented example of an uncorrected case of suffering and abuse in an elephant I have ever reviewed.'”
And yet, Liebel has scheduled Nosey to appear at the Williams County Fair in early September, despite countless protest and opposition.
It is shockingly obvious that Liebel should not be allowed to care for this animal – or any other living creature for that matter – and only sees her as a source of profit. Continuing to force a lame elephant to work and carry heavy customers is not only in direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act, but it is absolutely despicable.
Liebel has tried his hardest to cover his tracks, but it is time that this elephant abuser is taken down! You can speak out for Nosey by joining PETA in calling the USDA to confiscate Nosey from Liebel’s care. You can also participate in organized protests and other calls to action by following Action for Nosey on Facebook.