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Update: Veterinarian Confirms Nosey the Elephant Is in ‘Ongoing Pain’

Written by PETA | August 14, 2014

UPDATE: Even though it seems clear that an elephant named Nosey is in pain and struggling to walk, circus owner Hugo Liebel continues to haul her around the country and force her to give rides. The latest video evidence shows that she has been consistently lame with limited mobility for weeks. A veterinarian who reviewed the footage and observed Nosey in person confirmed that she is undoubtedly suffering from ongoing pain.

PETA has repeatedly asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to seize Nosey and get her the veterinary attention that she so desperately needs before it’s too late. Arthritis and foot problems are the leading reason why captive elephants are euthanized.

 “[Nosey] undoubtedly suffers from advanced arthritis and degenerative joint disease, resulting in ongoing pain, and most likely permanently impaired limb function.”

—Philip K. Ensley, D.V.M., Dipl. ACZM

USDA animal-care inspectors have a duty to recognize when animals are suffering, and the agency has the authority to confiscate animals whose health is in serious danger. PETA stands ready to help with getting Nosey retired to a reputable sanctuary.

Nosey the Elephant

What You Can Do

Contact the USDA today and ask that Hugo Liebel’s license be revoked once and for all.

The following was originally published on April 21, 2014:

Update: Once again, Hugo Liebel said he would stop violating the Animal Welfare Act, and once again, he failed. As a newly released report reveals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture again cited Liebel for denying Nosey veterinary care and for failing to protect the public during elephant rides. With the latest ones, Liebel has racked up a total of nearly 200 violations. Please follow the link below to ask the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to revoke his exhibitor’s license.

The following was originally published on April 7, 2014:

Nosey the elephant’s owner and abuser, Hugo Liebel, wants everything to remain business as usual with Nosey and a captive spider monkey, Reggie. His permits to keep both long-suffering animals are up for renewal, but PETA has intervened and asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to deny the applications on the grounds that the animals’ conditions are unlawful.

Nosey the Elephant (2)

Florida law prohibits “maintain[ing] captive wildlife in any unsafe or unsanitary condition, or in a manner which results in threats to the public safety, or the maltreatment or neglect of such wildlife.” And Liebel has significant trouble following the law.

Just a few of his known violations include regularly neglecting a skin condition that Nosey has suffered from for more than 20 years and denying animals other needed veterinary care, forcing animals to live in filthy enclosures, letting Reggie escape and run loose for six weeks, chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move, chaining monkeys by their necks, depriving animals of food, and viciously beating animals.

Nosey the Elephant (3)

No wonder Nosey attacked a handler! But Liebel still allows the public—including children—to have close, unmonitored contact with her.

Under Florida law, when a permittee fails to comply, the FWC must look at suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew his or her authorizations. If Hugo Liebel hasn’t failed to comply, then we don’t know who has.

Veterinarian and exotic-animal specialist Dr. Philip Ensley has joined PETA’s petition to the FWC to deny Liebel’s renewal application. Dr. Ensley told the FWC:

“This is the worst, most prolonged, documented example of an uncorrected case of suffering and abuse in an elephant I have ever reviewed.”

You can help us by asking the FWC to yank Liebel’s license before Nosey suffers for one more day.

Commenting is closed.
  • Please free all animals from such pain and suffering. Hugo Liebels clearly does not care for his animals. Please revoke his licence and let the animals see out the rest of their days in peace and pain-free.

  • Pamela Kaczynski says:

    This abuse of Nosey never ends. Hugo Liebels license needs to be revoked Immediately. This poor,neglected elephant needs to go to a sanctuary . Theyre are reputable ones here in the U.S. Like PAWS or the elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

  • Anne says:

    Praying for Nosey’s deliverance from abusive owner should begin to work………..The God of Abraham will deliver Nooooooosey from its captor.


  • This man is an abuser and n
    eeds to be stopped before Nosey is dead. The USDA is negligent and not doing its job. Someone needs to pay for this .

  • Bonnie Bell says:

    I’ll never understand what people get out of sitting on an elephant while walking in a circle??? Animals are not meant to be our entertainment! Make you own entertainment! INFURATES ME!

  • Suzanne Holt says:


  • Brenda Andrews says:

    It saddens me deeply to see that the human spirit in this individual cannot see the suffering that is going on with this innocent elephant. Does this person have such an ego that he will not release this poor elephant just to prove that he will beat the system per se. How sad that such an individual has stooped so low.

  • ashma says:

    God be merciful on her and I pray she spends her left years in happiness n peace.. May govt take appropriate steps n save her and punish the culprits.

  • kat kianna says:

    Please release wild animals to a sanctuary or the wild where they belong. Stop abusing animals for years and years….they need to retire like everyone else! not facing death tired and abused used and overworked with no life, vacation or enjoyment. There should be restrictions rules and regulation in keeping animals in captivity and making money on them.

  • Donna says:

    Stop the abuse and cruelty NOW!

  • ROBERTA says:

    May the worst kind of KARMA come upon you Hugo Liebel for all the years you made this beautiful and intelligent Nosey endure!!! Let her go live her senior year in a loving environment before you regret this!!!!

  • kim walsh says:

    we have no right to abuse any animals period or use them to amuse us I am do sick of all this abuse

  • Sandra Faucher says:

    There is NO excuse for abusing animals.

  • Holly Luther says:

    The One Thing That You Can Do For Free, That Will Help, Is Pray.
    This Elephant, And Others, Will Greatly Appreciate It!
    There Is No Wrongdoing When It Comes To Praying.

  • Tolina Vassilakai says:

    Stop this cruelty.

  • shannon North says:

    Lets track where this animal abuser takes her and set up signs, petions..etc until she is put in a sanctuary. You can see the sadness in her eyes. Elephants belong in Africa.

  • swd says:

    Get her the F away from this POS! nOW!!!

  • sharon bykerk-lonergan says: