Sad Lame Elephant, Nosey, Used for Rides Despite Veterinarian’s Plea

New Video Footage Reveals Ailing Elephant's Painful Gait: PETA Wants Authorities to Confiscate Her

For Immediate Release:
January 7, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Davenport, Fla. – This morning, PETA rushed an urgent complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling on it to confiscate Nosey, an elephant used by notorious exhibitor Hugo Liebel to sell tickets for rides on her despite her well-documented and severe lameness—likely caused by painful arthritis—clearly shown in video footage recorded in Port Richey, Fla., on January 4.

As PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes in its letter, elephant expert Dr. Philip K. Ensley has called for the USDA to confiscate Nosey, and University of Florida veterinarians who saw her in November concluded that any more signs of Nosey’s discomfort should prompt further action. The federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which the USDA is tasked with enforcing, prohibits forcing animals to perform when doing so isn’t “consistent with their good health and well-being.”

“Every time this elephant is forced to give rides, federal law is being flouted—and day by day, Nosey’s lameness grows more severe,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the authorities to get this suffering elephant the care and rest that she desperately needs.”

Liebel’s history of violating the AWA includes chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her adequate veterinary care. After reviewing 20 years’ worth of federal documents related to Nosey as well as a decade’s worth of photographs, Dr. 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.”

For more information, please visit


For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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