Rescue Abused Elephant from Circus Industry

Elephant Circus

Target: Chester Gipson, Deputy Administrator of Animal Care, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Retire captive elephant from circus industry

Nosey is a captive elephant that was born in Zimbabwe and has spent 24 years of her life enduring loneliness, abuse, and hardship. Elephants, like most wildlife, are sociable animals that thrive in the company of others. But her owner, Hugo Liebel, has been forcing Nosey to endure a life of seclusion and loneliness apart from other elephants. She has been a performer in his Florida family-run circus since 1988. Nosey is expected to travel from state to state to appear at various festivals, performing tricks, and allowing customers to ride on her back.

In the wild, elephants live in very advanced social organizations throughout their lives. A family of elephants can range from two to 50 members that use effective communication skills to relay needs, wants, emotions, and information. To be held alone for 24 years is an incredibly cruel and unnatural experience for any creature, particularly one of such intelligence and sociability.

In monitoring the circus in which Nosey performs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has documented nearly two decades worth of violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Among these violations are failure to provide veterinary care, keeping an animal in unsanitary conditions, and safe-handling violations. Nosey has long suffered from a painful skin condition that has not been treated, has been denied food for training purposes, and has been held in tight chains that do not allow her to move naturally or at all. Despite all of this, no action has been taken to remedy Nosey’s unfortunate situation.

Basic care should have been provided for Nosey throughout her harrowing life in captivity. This behavior from her owner is unacceptable. She deserves to roam in a clean, safe environment with other elephants just like her and receive regular veterinary care. No living creature should remain chained and unable to move throughout the day. Sadly, this is the life Nosey has grown accustomed to as a circus performer.

Sign this petition to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set this beautiful elephant free from a life of confinement.


Dear Mr. Gibson,

I am appalled by the continued mistreatment of captive elephant Nosey by her owner, Hugo Liebel. Nosey has spent the majority of her life in inhumane, confined conditions while traveling to perform for the purpose of human entertainment and profit. This is not only unnatural for such a sociable, intelligent animal, but also dangerous for Nosey as well as for festival customers. Wild animals placed in high-stress situations can easily and quickly become erratic, leading to unsafe conditions, particularly for young children. Liebel has violated the AWA numerous times, and despite these violations, still fails to provide proper care and living conditions for Nosey.

Please take into account the damage, stress, and loneliness Nosey has endured due to a life of constant traveling and performing. Please also consider the many violations her current owner has incurred in the years he has owned Nosey. Make the right decision for Nosey and remove her from this abusive situation as quickly as possible. She deserves much better.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ryan McCullah via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Hope those in charge are imprisoned one day in a straight jacket and a cage forever.

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