An elephant named Nosey has been abused and neglected for years by Hugo “Tommy” Liebel, who is so heartless he may just be impersonating a human being.
For a list of some of the tortures Nosey endures, click here.
Care2 Causes readers rallied to Nosey’s cause earlier this year. In just two days, more than 28,500 people signed our petition to UniverSoul Circus to cancel its contract with Liebel for Nosey to perform at the circus’s shows. Sadly UniverSoul disregarded this outpouring of compassion.
I also reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scheduled a hearing on Liebel’s long-running violations of the Animal Welfare Act based on multiple government inspections of Nosey’s condition. 109,000 readers signed a petition calling on the USDA to rescue Nosey from Liebel. Instead, eight days before the hearing, the agency reached a settlement with Liebel, fining him a pathetic $7,500 and ordering him to shape up.
There is some good news, though: other companies are listening, and have pulled out of contracts with Liebel because of public concern over Nosey’s treatment and poor health. PETA reports that after it and individual animal lovers informed The Blue Water Fest of Nosey’s plight, the festival told Liebel to take a hike. The event’s organizer said “we were completely unaware of” Liebel’s cruel and unlawful behavior towards Nosey, and once they learned of it, they refused to do business with Liebel. PETA announced that the Western Michigan Fair in Ludington, Michigan also will not hire Nosey to give rides.
Activists made a big difference just by spreading information that Liebel would prefer to keep quiet. Liebel is trying to keep things so quiet that he renamed Nosey to help cover up his history of cruelty. He now calls her Tiny. Meanwhile, the internet strikes back: Nosey has her own Facebook page with information about upcoming performances and how to protest the companies that pay Liebel to exploit her. She is performing at the Arenac County Fair in Standish, Michigan through August 3rd.
In Defense of Animals (IDA) has launched a fresh campaign to persuade the USDA to get serious and retire Nosey to a sanctuary where Liebel can’t touch her. IDA reports that an eyewitness heard Liebel say he had no intention of changing his ways to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and the USDA’s order. The organization says that Nosey has spent hours locked in a trailer in over-90-degree heat, and that she never has the opportunity to walk unless a customer is riding her — otherwise she is locked up.
During rides, Liebel sometimes leaves his six-year-old son to supervise her by himself. In effect, nobody looks after Nosey.
You can help. Please sign our petition to the USDA urging it to impose meaningful punishment on Liebel in line with the severity of his legal violations, and to confiscate his animals (he also has two monkeys) and turn them over to rescue sanctuaries where they will be well cared for.
Photo from Thinkstock