Medieval Fair’s Decision to Host Abused Elephant Draws Fire From PETA

Notorious Exhibitor's History of Animal Welfare Violations and Public Endangerment Places Elephant and Children at Risk

For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Rock Creek, Ohio – Despite having learned from PETA that elephant exhibitor Hugo Liebel has been cited nearly 200 times for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), The Great Lakes Medieval Faire still plans to allow him to provide rides on an ailing elephant named Nosey on weekends throughout July and August. In response, PETA has posted an action alert on its popular website asking visitors to urge festival organizers to cancel Liebel’s appearance and not to host him again.

PETA supporters will also protest the elephant rides this weekend:

When:   Saturday, July 19, 5-7 p.m. and Sunday, July 20, 5-7 p.m.

Where:  The Great Lakes Medieval Faire

As PETA pointed out in a letter to the organizers, a veterinarian with decades of experience working with elephants reviewed 20 years’ worth of federal documents and a decade’s worth of photographs related to Nosey and concluded that she has “undergone long term suffering and abuse.” Liebel’s extensive history of violating the AWA includes chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her adequate veterinary care for a chronic skin condition.

“If the Great Lakes Medieval Faire continues to host Hugo Liebel’s cruel act, it will virtually be endorsing cruelty to animals,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA has repeatedly called on the government to confiscate and retire this abused elephant—and we call on all kind people to refuse to support elephant rides.”

PETA has also pointed to the public-safety risk presented by hosting elephant rides and especially by allowing children to ride on the back of Nosey, who previously attacked a Liebel employee, hitting him with her tusk and lifting him off his feet. The worker was rushed to the hospital and received stitches for a head wound, but Liebel has continued to allow unsupervised public contact with Nosey.

PETA’s letter to The Great Lakes Medieval Faire is available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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