Update: Elephant out of UniverSoul but Not out of the Woods Yet

Published by PETA Staff.

Update 2: Thanks for your calls and e-mails in Nosey’s behalf.  We have learned that Nosey is no longer appearing with UniverSoul Circus. PETA will, of course, continue to monitor her situation, and we’ll post updates here. Please learn more about ways to help animals used for entertainment

Update: As UniverSoul Circus prepares to force Nosey to perform next week in Tallahassee, Florida, actor Cheryl Hines has written an urgent letter to the manager of the North Florida Fairgrounds imploring him to cancel the ailing elephant’s appearances. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has also added his voice in a plea to stop UniverSoul Circus from allowing Nosey to perform. Local activists have also planned to demonstrate at the fairgrounds in Nosey’s behalf. 

Originally posted on February 20th, 2013:

Can you help us help Nosey, an ailing elephant exhibited by Hugo Liebel? Recent photographs of her led an elephant expert to conclude that her health is worsening, and PETA is calling on local law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to confiscate Nosey, who will soon be forced to perform with UniverSoul Circus

Snapshots of Suffering

The photos were taken during a recent Liebel Family Circus show in Davenport, Florida. (PETA had urged Davenport officials to cancel the show, but they failed to act to protect Nosey.) Upon review, a veterinarian with decades of experience treating and caring for elephants determined that Nosey’s painful skin condition continues to deteriorate and that she is suffering as a result.

In addition to these welfare concerns, records just obtained by PETA reveal that Nosey tested positive on a StatPak test for tuberculosis (TB) antibodies in January 2012. A positive test can be an early indicator of TB infection, which is highly transmissible between elephants and humans. Indeed, direct contact with a TB-positive elephant is not necessary for transmission of the disease. This is particularly worrisome given Liebel’s record of unlawful unsupervised and dangerous contact between Nosey and the public.

UniverSoul Doesn’t Care

Liebel has been abusing and neglecting Nosey for years. PETA has been filing complaints against the circus with the USDA for nearly a decade—more than a dozen of them since 2009. In March, Liebel is set to face almost three dozen formal charges for violations of the Animal Welfare Act—most of them relating to Nosey, including repeatedly chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her veterinary care.

Upon learning through a public records request that UniverSoul Circus planned to use Nosey in its Florida shows, PETA implored UniverSoul CEO Cedric Walker to spare the suffering elephant but has received no response, so the group is stepping up its campaign to get Nosey the help that she so desperately requires.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind

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