Caught: Animal Exhibitor Endangers the Public at Crescent Shrine Circus

PETA, State Senator Call On Authorities to Cancel Hugo Liebel’s Permit to Force Lame Elephant to Give Rides at New Jersey State Fair

For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Burlington, N.J.

Dangerous activity took place under the big top at the Crescent Shrine Circus, which performed in Burlington from June 26 to 29. While permits require that at least two handlers accompany elephants outside holding areas, visitors saw Nosey the elephant, who is exhibited by the notoriously cruel Hugo Liebel, being ridden by children while accompanied by only one handler—Liebel’s teenage daughter. Nosey previously sent an individual to the hospital with a head injury after lifting him up with her tusk and tossing him to the ground.

After hearing from PETA, New Jersey Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak sent a letter (available here) to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Fish & Wildlife Division calling on it to revoke the permit issued to Liebel that allows him to exhibit Nosey at the New Jersey State Fair—both for safety’s sake and because Nosey suffers from painful lameness and is showing signs of arthritis.

“Liebel has continuously placed animals, handlers, and the public in danger,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on authorities to spare this animal a small amount of suffering by refusing to allow this abuse to continue at the New Jersey State Fair or anywhere else in the Garden State.”

Liebel’s history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act includes chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her adequate veterinary care. After observing Nosey in person and reviewing decades’ worth of federal records, elephant expert and veterinarian Dr. Philip Ensley called Nosey’s case “the worst, most prolonged, documented example of an uncorrected case of suffering and abuse in an elephant I have ever reviewed.” PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to entertainment”—is urging Crescent Shriners never to host Liebel again.

Note: PETA supports animal rights and opposes all forms of animal exploitation and educates the public on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.

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