PETA and three plaintiffs recently sent an official notice informing Hugo Liebel, a notorious animal exhibitor, and owner of The Great American Family Circus, of their plan to sue on behalf of an elephant that had been rescued from the man’s possession. The elephant, Nosey, was seized after decades of captivity and cruelty and temporarily moved to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Now, Nosey has spent three weeks at the sanctuary and her life changed dramatically from an existence full of pain to one of peace, amazing care, and fun!

According to PETA’s letter, Liebel’s mistreatment of Nosey the elephant included chaining her tightly, confining the animal in her own waste, forcing her to perform under the threat of physical abuse, as well as denying her proper food, shelter, and companionship. The cruel treatment constitutes a violation of federal law – Liebel now can avoid the federal lawsuit by making Nosey’s transfer to a sanctuary permanent.

An independent vet and elephant expert examining Nosey’s case called it “the worst, most prolonged, documented example of an uncorrected case of suffering and abuse in an elephant I have ever reviewed,” PETA reports. But she is thriving in her sanctuary home!

After years of work, Nosey was saved from her prison. She at last found herself in a proper environment at the sanctuary. It was a completely new world for her and, since her arrival, she has been curiously exploring the woods, pulling down branches and leaves, debarking them, and discovering other little joys of being an elephant.

She has been observed using the sand pile and the scrub brush she has at her disposal. She has also discovered harvested branches provided as enrichment and even figured out how to get treats from inside enrichment devices that promote foraging. All in all, Nosey is having the time of her life!



“For The Elephant Sanctuary’s Care Staff, it has been a joy to observe Nosey exhibit natural behaviors in a natural habitat setting,” the team writes, “and we look forward to continuing to provide updates about her explorations.”

Thanks to the rescue and her dedicated carers at the sanctuary, Nosey has the chance to finally break free from the life of cruelty that she had to endure. Now PETA is determined to fight for the elephant as long as it takes to ensure a permanent stay in an accredited sanctuary – and complete freedom from her painful past.

To learn more about The Elephant Sanctuary, click here. Please share this post and help keep the pressure on Liebel to let Nosey stay!

All image source: PETA/The Elephant Sanctuary