You might have met Nosey on Facebook, but I met her on Care2. Here Piper Hoffman shared the story of this 30-year-old abused elephant. Though sick and suffering, she nevertheless is made to perform by her uncaring owner.
An attempt was made to inform UniverSoul's CEO, Cedric Walker, about her sad state of health, but he ignored the 28,500 petitions signed by caring people in just two days. Unmoved by this act of compassion, he decided to do business with Hugo "Tommy" Liebel who someone so well described as so heartless that he may just be impersonating a human being.
And since then, Nosey also just finished performing at the Arenac County Fair in Standish, Michigan--Another company that obviously paid no attention to the pleas of petition signers.
However, there were some other groups though who responded compassionately to Nosey's plight. When Peta and individual animal lovers informed The Blue Water Fest of Nosey's suffering, this caring company told Liebel to take a hike! Beautiful.
Also concerned about Nosey, the Western Michigan Fair in Ludington refused to hire Nosey to give rides. I hope compassionate groups like this will also follow the example of some EU countries who no longer allow animals in their circuses because of the abuse so many have to endure.
In Nosey's case, activists are making a difference and Liebel is trying to escape the public eye. He even has renamed Nosey as Tiny, Dumbo, or Peanut to fool the public. But he has failed in this regard to hide his cruelty, and word has gotten out. Now Nosey even has her own Facebook page with information about upcoming performances. The site also tells how to protest the companies that pay Liebel to exploit her. People of compassion will not pay to see Nosey suffer.
And where is the USDA in all of this? Hoffman reported that they scheduled a hearing on Liebel's long-running violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Even though these violations were based on multiple government inspections of Nosey's pitiful condition and 109,000 readers signed a petition calling for the USDA to rescue Nosey from Liebel, it never happened.
Eight days before the hearing, the agency reached a settlement with Liebel, fining him a pathetic $7,500. They let Nosey down big time.
How magnanimous of the USDA to keep Liebel in business as usual while Nosey continues to be exploited. And the concern of well over 100,000 petition signers went for naught. Nosey should have been taken from this cruel man and placed in a sanctuary. Why are these officials so heartless? Why are they so indifferent to the will of so many people who showed their concern for Nosey?
In Defense of Animals is launching a new campaign to persuade the USDA to get serious and retire Nosey to a sanctuary where Liebel can't ever touch her again.
Haughty Liebel was reported being heard saying that he had no intention of changing his ways to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and the USDA's order.
In the meantime, Nosey spends hours locked in a trailer in over 90 degree heat. The only time she is allowed to walk is when a customer is riding her. Other times she is chained unable to even turn around.
I signed another petiton for her at this site urging the USDA to impose meaningful punishment for Liebel and to confiscate his animals. He also has two monkeys and we worry that they are probably exploited as well.
I hope the USDA comes to the realization that Liebel will not change his ways. As he defiantly said--he was not going to follow the Animal Welfare Act. That should be reason enough to move on him and rescue Nosey and the two spider monkeys. Isn't thumbing down your nose on a Congressional Act a serious matter? Shouldn't it have consequences?
In Defense of Animals has always fought hard to rescue elephants who are being abused or are living in terrible conditions in zoos. We all hope that they will be successful in freeing Nosey from a hellish life and that one day she will find herself in a "shangrila" sanctuary with other elephants. She so richly deserves retirement.
Hoffman lists some of Liebel's violations in the care of Nosey:
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