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nosey image 1_from Deb Robinson with permission

USDA Fails to Help Elephant Nosey

March 26th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer

The USDA has yet again let a chronic violator of federal animal welfare standards get away with little more than a slap on the wrist.

Just days before circus handler Hugo Liebel was set to face a hearing on March 26, 2013 for 33 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA announced it had reached a settlement. Instead of revoking Liebel’s license and handing down a maximum penalty of $330,000, the USDA settled with the agreement that Liebel would pay a meager civil penalty of $7,500 and cease and desist from violating the AWA.

The charges included failure to provide veterinary care for the weight loss and chronic skin condition of an elephant named Nosey, chaining her so tightly that she could not move or lie down, and handling her in a way that was dangerous to her and to the public.

This settlement is a shocking disappointment in its blatant disregard for animal welfare. The token penalty enables Liebel to carry on, business as usual, despite his long history of animal abuse and neglect.

The USDA needs to hear from you today.

122 Responses to “USDA Fails to Help Elephant Nosey”

  1. June 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm, Jane Weeks said:

    Is there any news on locating Nosey? I’ve heard no response from Liebel, not surprisingly, but am anxious to possibly make him an offer to relinquish Nosey to a sanctuary. The last I heard, Nosey’s whereabouts are unknown.

    • July 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm, ReNay said:

      > I have signed and supported every possible petition to help this poor elephant. Please continue your efforts it will not be in vein. God bless you and Nosey.

    • July 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm, Carol said:

      > mosey is going to be at the Berlin fair in Marne mi

    • July 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm, Mousey said:

      > Nosey is in either Sanilac or St. Clair county in Michigan as of July 2013

      • August 02, 2013 at 8:07 pm, Patty Roby said:

        Nosey will be in Bay County Michigan August 6-10th at the County Fair. She is currently in Arenac County.

    • August 13, 2013 at 11:21 am, Caroline Slocum said:

      Nosey is going to be in Atlanta, MI this week. If you know anyone wanting to demonstrate please contact for more information.

  2. May 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm, Carrera said:

    Jane Weeks, I totally agree that money is the only motivator for Liebel to let NOSEY go free. I don’t have any idea how to contact him but can he be reached through Facebook? Maybe he has a personal page on FB where you can leave a message for him to contact you. Please let us try all we can to save this poor soul from a fate worse than death. My heart bleeds thinking about him being chained up and in pain. Words don’t count. We have to act if we really care. Circuses should be a thing of the past. If anyone here knows how we can contact Liebel please let us know.

    • May 29, 2013 at 3:01 am, Pat Bacon said:

      We need to enlist the Presidents help in this since the USDA are a bunch of slugs and are doing nothing,How do we contact the President. I have searched on line with no real information available.

      • May 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm, Jane Weeks said:

        Hi Carrerra — I’ve checked on Facebook, and can’t find anything on Liebel. I sent another message to his circus website, but still no response. I’ll keep trying to find a phone number or email address, so we can contact him about relinquishing Nosey. There is a wonderful elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, and I can just picture Nosey there, finally free to roam — leg shackles gone forever.

  3. May 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm, Jane Weeks said:

    I agree — there must be a way to purchase Nosey and help her get to a sanctuary. I have tried to contact her owner Liebel, through the website of his circus, but so far no response. Does anyone know how to contact him? I can’t help but think if anything would change his mind about keeping Nosey, it would be money.

  4. May 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm, Jane Weeks said:

    I agree –

  5. May 28, 2013 at 8:18 am, Pamela Kaczynski said:

    Hi Patrick, here is a Elephant that needs our help. This is just one of many who are abused by there trainer. Liebel has had many violations of the animal welfare act and he is still abusing NOSEY the elephant. She has a terrible skin condition , is underweight and is chained so tightly that she cant even lie down. Maybe you can read this blog and get a little educated of how circus elephants are abused.

    • May 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm, Carrera said:

      Surely there has to be a way for NOSEY to be freed. Maybe his owners are willing to sell him? If so, we could all contribute whatever we could, advertise also on Facebook for those who might want to also contribute so we can buy NOSEY and send him to a Sanctuary where he can live the rest of his life in peace and tranquility. Is there such a chance? No matter how much we protest or send letters to the USDA, or anyone in the government, it won’t make a difference. Maybe President Obama can intervene? Just a thought but please let’s do something drastic to safe NOSEY before it is too late.

      • May 29, 2013 at 2:57 am, Pat Bacon said:

        We CAN send letters and e-mails to President O’Bama.

        • June 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm, Carrera said:

          Hi Pat, yes we could send emails and even letters to President Obama. Maybe even calling and letting him know how we feel might be more productive. I just sent an email to IDA asking them to lead the way. One or two letters will not cut it. We need a regular campaign that will produce results, don’t you agree? Please, if you have some ideas how we should proceed let me know. I will call the White House and leave messages. I will fax and email. I will do anything I can to help that poor elephant. This should not happen in our country. Unfortunately, greed has taken over people’s souls.

  6. May 28, 2013 at 8:00 am, Pamela Kaczynski said:

    I have written numerous letters about this poor elephant. January 2013 is now gone. Has anything changed for this poor elephant? what more has to be done?? I and sooo many others have written letters. The circus world is so cruel. I don’t know how many elephants Liebel has but if it is the only one this elephant has it WORSE then the Barnum and Bailey Ringling bros. does. At least they have this terrible abuse by there handlers with many an elephant. All it seems I can do now is pray every night for these poor intelligent creatures. Are we to start a new petition on Noseys behalf?? Please write me and let me know.

  7. May 22, 2013 at 10:30 am, Kenneth Butler II said:

    There has to be a way to get her out of there

  8. May 08, 2013 at 12:46 am, Jane Weeks said:

    Is there a possibility that Liebel would ever sell Nosey? It seems like that may be the only way to get her to a sanctuary. Any idea what his price might be?

  9. April 01, 2013 at 6:42 pm, Officer Clown said:

    It’s important to write or call to help this elephant.Regular mail is sometimes BETTER than email.Please encourage more people to write and we could see this elephant get to sanctuary soon!

  10. March 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm, Officer Clown said:

    I sent an email to and it never bounced! I’m sure Wendy had the right address. More letter and emails need to be sent for Nosey!

    • March 31, 2013 at 5:33 am, Carrera said:

      Yesterday I sent a letter by snail mail to Phillis at USDA not that it will do any good. Still, we have to keep trying. Persistence defeats resistance!!

  11. March 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm, Vivien Prince said:

    The USDA needs to get Nosey released to a Sanctuary! This is a wild animal, wildlife are not to be chained and exploited for man’s profit! This is abhorrent, and unacceptable, because Nosey will suffer and then another and then another. Stop abuse of wildlife, cruelty.
    Is it possible that there is any corruption involved in this decision? Nothing else makes sense? USDA I challenge you to release Nosey to a sanctuary, or let’s get you all FIRED and get new board.I am burning with anger.

    • March 31, 2013 at 8:22 am, Carrera said:

      If we, the People, had the power to fire all the USDA corrupt money grabbers, this country would be truly a country of liberty and freedom. But none of the propaganda we hear that we, the people, have a say in anything stands. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We vote for corrupt and disgusting politicians that insult our intelligence and become millionaires during their time in office. Sad but true! The pain and abuse and mistreatment of animals means nothing to them. We sign petition, we contribute whatever we can afford to fight them in court and they always win and come up on top. The American people are just slaves to these unconscionable bastards. But, we will keep on fighting be

  12. March 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm, Carrera said:

    Wendy Michaels, the email address for is wrong. I sent her an email and the email came back stating that the email address was incorrect. Is it possible to provide an accurate email address, please? Otherwise, I will have to send a letter by snail mail and it will take much longer time to reach her. Thank you so much in advance. Carrera

    • March 29, 2013 at 1:59 am, Pat Bacon said:

      The USDA is no good what so ever at protecting our tortured and abused animals.I am sure there is tons of money buying the USDA people so these cruel torturers of animals can go on with the horror.USDA..YOU SUCK!!!!!

  13. March 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm, Carrera said:

    Pat Bacon, I could not agree with you more. USDA do not give a damn about the suffering of animals. We are dealing with robots without souls and without conscience. We are all victims of this bunch of thieves and killers who have immunity for the crimes they commit by turning their backs on Americans whether they be human or animals. We are at their mercy and unless we stand up to them and demand for a drastic change nothing will ever be achieved no matter how many letters we send or how many calls we make or how many petitions we sign. We are fighting a lost cause.

  14. March 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm, Officer Clown said:

    I wrote a polite letter to the USDA urging them to confiscate Nosey.I told them more people would be writing until she is confiscated and placed in sanctuary.Now I’m asking you to write, call,or do both so she is saved.Look at Wendy Michael’s post for the address to write!!!

  15. March 28, 2013 at 9:54 am, Heather Hintz said:

    USDA IS A SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP…DONT BE FOOLED…THEIR INTEREST IS SOLELY IN MONEY AND THEIR BACKERS ARE RICH PEOPLE WITHOUT CONSCIENCES, ANIMAL KILLERS AND ABUSERS. ANYONE (WITHOUT SPECIAL TRAINING) CAN BE AND ARE INVOLVED IN THIS SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm, Pat Bacon said:

      The USDA is one of the most corrupt organizations in America today. How these people can live with themselves and their big ,fat wallets stuff with lots of money while animals suffer and the work of caring for Americans and their animals is pushed aside. GO TO HELL!

  16. March 27, 2013 at 10:08 am, Courtney Scott said:

    The USDA and the AZA are notorious for their failure to protect elephants in captivity. Of course elephants should not be in captivity in the first place, and zoos and circuses are profiting off of their suffering. But the least the AZA and USDA could do is uphold strict regulations for the care and treatment of the elephants, and dole out appropriate punishment when those rules are broken.

  17. March 27, 2013 at 2:51 am, Pat Bacon said:

    I am sickened by the USDA’s lack of compassion and action.Big fat paychecks and no work. What a cushy life for the Washington bunch while animals suffer.

  18. March 27, 2013 at 2:13 am, Solan said:

    Help !! SOS !! Pour les éléphants massacrer,maltraités pour les hommes,que ne
    respectent pas ceux animaux !! Stop l’esclavage des éléphants,dans les cirques et
    autres! Les éléphants sont torturer,ils sont obliger de travailler des heures !
    Sa vie est un calvaire ,plein de souffrance ,ils sont humilier ! C’est un honte,que
    ça continue ; Nous devons les respecter ,aimer ,protéger , Ils sont pure gentillesse
    beaux,intelligents,.Il y a besoin de les sauver ,avant qu’il ne soit trop tard

  19. March 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm, Mieke Lansink said:

    Money money money

  20. March 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm, Carrera said:

    Should I be surprised?? Money buys people’s souls especially people at the top who crawled their way there like worms that they are. Humility and compassion are found only in great men and women. Show me one great man or woman in USDA!!!