Stand Up for Abused Elephant

Target: Arenac County Fair Executive Board

Goal: Immediately cancel all elephant rides on Nosey the Elephant, who has suffered abuse for years

County fairs are, for many people, a fond childhood memory or a favorite annual activity. But for animals like Nosey the Elephant, county fairs can be horrific. Sign the petition and urge the Arenac County Fair Executive Board to immediately cancel its planned elephant rides, and encourage the board to cut ties with Nosey’s exhibitor, Hugo “Tommy” Liebel.

Liebel shows a startling disregard for both Nosey’s well-being and U.S. law; he was recently fined $7500 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) documentation of the violations is strongly worded, in keeping with the severity of the abuse Nosey has been subjected to: the report specifically states that “the gravity of the violations…is great” before providing the details of fourteen unannounced APHIS inspections, all of which turned up violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Inspectors charged Liebel with failing to provide Nosey with adequate veterinary care, subjecting her to dangerous “housing facilities”  that included exposed nail points and sharp pieces of metal, and tying her up in such a way that would restrict her movement and cause her unnecessary stress. Several of the violations also concerned two monkeys in Liebel’s care, and the report also alleges that Liebel “misrepresents his own [identity], and the identity of Nosey, to the public.”

Animals thus treated, in addition to being the victims of horrible abuse, pose a threat to public health and safety. Urge the executive board of the Arenac County Fair to act in the best interests of both its patrons and Nosey the Elephant. Sign the petition asking the board to cancel elephant rides at the Arenac County Fair, and urge the board to end its business relationship with Hugo “Tommy” Liebel for good.


Dear Executive Board Members,

For many children, elephant rides are a highlight of the county fair. But for Nosey the Elephant, county fairs are hellish.

This year, Nosey’s owner, Hugo “Tommy” Liebel, paid $7500 in fines for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) report takes ten pages to document all of the violations, and the report’s writers note that “the gravity of the violations…is great.”

Liebel, who also owns two monkeys, is charged with violations that range from failing to provide adequate veterinary care for Nosey to chaining her up so as to restrict her movement in a way that APHIS deemed likely to cause “behavioral stress, physical harm or unnecessary discomfort.” He was also cited for multiple violations of the minimum safe housing facility standard, and was charged with allowing a monkey named Reggie to escape and remain missing for ten days.

But perhaps most damningly from a strictly business standpoint, the report alleges that Liebel “misrepresents his own [identity], and the identity of Nosey, to the public” by falsely claiming that Nosey has been in “the most movies ever in the country” and that she is 15 when she is in reality close to 30. He also uses aliases for both himself and Nosey.

Hugo “Tommy” Liebel has proven himself to be unprofessional at best and cruelly inhumane at worst. I urge you to maintain the high caliber of the Arenac County Fair–cancel Nosey’s elephant rides and sever business ties with Hugo Liebel as soon as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Vinoth Chandar via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Amy M Glogowski says:

    I agree with debi, why hasn’t someone stepped in yet & stopped this? Poor elephant!

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