Nosey the Elephant's story is long, winding and almost unbelievably dismal. Born in 1982 in the lush African wilderness of Zimbabwe, Nosey lived a short two years with her mother and extended elephant family before being shipped halfway across the world to America. (Her mother and family were likely slaughtered at the same time.)
But rather than being outraged by Nosey's capture from the wild at such a fragile age, Nosey's capture - and that of 62 other baby elephants at the time - was celebrated as a "rescue effort" to save the baby elephants from a government-issued culling. Nosey, along with most of the other elephants, was sold to animal handlers shortly after arriving in the US.
In 1988, Nosey's sad fate was sealed when she was sold once again and transferred into the hands of her current owner, Tommy Liebel of the Liebel Family Circus - a circus that already had a terrible track record of elephant abuse, with at least two prior documented elephant deaths.
In the nearly 30 years since then, Nosey has lived a life entirely alone and entirely at the mercy of her owner. Nosey has been forced to perform across the country in brutal conditions, spending the majority of her days in a hot, cramped trailer much too small for an elephant her size. Thick callouses and scars around her legs demonstrate decades of excessive use of chains.
Countless accounts detail her appalling "training" regime: Nosey has been starved, beaten with a shovel, electrocuted, and stabbed with sharp metal poles on a regular basis. Liebel, Nosey's owner, has been cited more than 200 times for violating the Animal Welfare Act. However, Liebel has not yet been successfully prosecuted by the US Department of Agriculture for the violations.
Nosey is still forced to carry humans on her back for rides, despite the fact that her years of mistreatment has resulted in painful arthritis. The poor elephant also suffers from numerous other untreated health conditions, including a nasty skin disease and chronic gastrointestinal distress.
As Nosey's condition deteriorates, the risk grows that she could act unpredictably, lashing out in pain, fear and abuse-related madness, and putting humans in danger. Or, she'll be worked literally to death, euthanized when she can no longer stand from the pain.
Without a doubt, it is high time that Nosey be freed from her abusive captors and sent to live in a true elephant sanctuary for the rest of her life. It's the least she deserves after so many years of misery.
Luckily, Nosey has friends. Thousands of dedicated advocates and animal welfare organizations have been fighting tirelessly for years to draw attention to Nosey's plight and get her the care she needs and the freedom she deserves.
"Nosey the elephant has been alone and abused for human entertainment for over 30 years," says Barbara Lovett of Save Nosey Now! "We must do everything in our power to free her to a true sanctuary and end the struggle she endures daily."
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has already agreed to accept Nosey. But her owner refuses to relinquish her, and the US government has failed to take appropriate action to remove Nosey from her deplorable conditions.
So Nosey's suffering continues, unabated. She is sitting right now in chains, in pain and indescribable loneliness, while you read this sentence.
Thousands of elephants remain captive in the US and abroad.