Video of Lame Elephant Used for Rides at Medieval Fair Prompts Call for Investigation

PETA Alerts Authorities to Elephant Expert's Assessment That Nosey Requires Immediate 'Relief of Severe Pain'

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Rock Creek, Ohio – Hugo Liebel’s elephant rides have been canceled from events all across the United States, but now PETA has received video footage taken at The Great Lakes Medieval Faire on July 27 that shows Nosey, the ailing elephant, apparently lame in her left hind leg. According to a veterinarian with years of experience treating elephants, Nosey may be suffering from advanced arthritis or degenerative joint disease and requires “immediate attention for relief of severe pain.” That’s why PETA has sent an urgent letter calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect Nosey and ensure that she’s not forced to give rides if she’s injured or lame, in accordance with the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

“PETA’s motto says, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment,’ precisely because of what elephants such as Nosey endure, and we urge everyone to steer clear of elephant rides,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the authorities to step in and stop Nosey from being forced to limp along at The Great Lakes Medieval Faire.”

Liebel’s extensive history of mistreating Nosey includes nearly 200 AWA violations, including for chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her adequate veterinary care for a chronic skin condition. In 2013, he was ordered to pay $7,500 to settle 33 charges for AWA violations.

The witness who took the July 27 video reported that Liebel pulled on and jabbed Nosey multiple times with a bullhook (a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end). Additionally, Nosey previously attacked a Liebel employee, hitting him with her tusk and lifting him off his feet, but Liebel has continued to allow dangerous public contact with Nosey. The elephant expert who reviewed Nosey’s case concluded that Liebel’s lax handling “will most certainly lead to Nosey seriously injuring … or killing a handler, a circus patron, or child during an elephant ride.”

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“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