Fantastic news for Nosey the elephant! The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office recently confirmed Hugo and Franciszka Liebel, the elephant’s long-time owners, have been ARRESTED on animal cruelty charges following a hearing regarding Nosey’s treatment.
This is another promising step in the fight for Nosey’s freedom. Since 1988, Nosey has been beaten, chained, and denied of veterinary care, forced to perform shows and give people rides. Experts say poor Nosey is suffering from arthritis and lameness, related to her captivity. In addition, she heartbreakingly never made contact with another elephant. What’s more, according to animal rights organization, PETA, Nosey’s captor, Hugo Liebel has been cited nearly 200 times for animal welfare violations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In November of this year, Nosey was confiscated in Alabama by animal control officers after the Lawrence County District Court in Alabama issued a seizure order on Nosey’s behalf. Nosey has since been sent to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the largest elephant sanctuary in the U.S., where she has been thriving.
“Nosey discovered a pumpkin treat in her habitat,” The Elephant Sanctuary wrote on their Instagram. Since arriving at the sanctuary, Nosey has been curiously exploring the woods, pulling down branches and leaves, debarking them, and learning what it means to be an elephant after years of abuse.
The Elephant Sanctuary/Instagram
“Local authorities were correct to stand up to cruelty and seize Nosey, whose fate is still to be determined by the court. PETA will continue to fight for her until she’s permanently retired to a spacious sanctuary home,” PETA said in response to the cruelty charges against the Liebels.
PETA argues that Liebel’s mistreatment of Nosey, including chaining her tightly, confining the animal in her own waste, and forcing her to perform under the threat of physical abuse, all violate federal law. Liebel could avoid the federal lawsuit by making Nosey’s transfer to a sanctuary permanent, which is, of course, the least she deserves.
Elephants are intelligent and highly social animals. They can use tools, cooperate to solve problems and they can even communicate in a language of over 70 distinct sounds. In nature, elephants spend their entire lives with their families, sometimes in herds of up to 100 elephants. Despite the social nature of elephants, they are often held in captivity in zoos and the entertainment industry in complete isolation, all for the sake of entertainment. Even worse is that many of these elephants were captured as very young calves, stolen from their families, and then locked up in cages for the rest of their lives.
Be sure to share this wonderful victory with all of your animal loving friends! And please, always refuse to attend any attraction featuring an elephant, you can help lower the demand for their display and help make elephant entertainment a thing of the past!
Image Source: PETA