5 min read

State Tries To Ban Elephant Circuses — All Because Of Her

You can help get "Nosey's Law" passed.

Senator Raymond J. Lesniak had already been pushing for New Jersey to ban elephant acts, but when he heard about an exhausted circus elephant named Nosey, he knew he needed to name the law in her honor.

"New Jersey's effort to ban elephants from circuses was boosted when I named it Nosey's Law," Senator Lesniak told The Dodo. "Her plight should inspire other states to follow our lead."

Taken from her mother in the wild at just 2 years old and shipped from Africa to the U.S. in the early 1980s, Nosey has been performing in circuses pretty much ever since. Now, she's over 30 years old, and suffers from degenerative joint disease, among other health problems.

But her owner, Hugo Tommy Liebel of the Liebel Family Circus (which has racked up many animal welfare violations over the years), won't let Nosey retire. When she's not performing in his own shows, he rents her out.

"It seems like a never-ending saga for the circus elephant Nosey, who has endured insurmountable pain and suffering for at least a decade," Senator Lesniak wrote, adding that her story came into the spotlight this past summer, after she was seen limping while people rode on her back.

This week, "Nosey's Law" passed through senate committee approval. If the senate votes in favor, New Jersey could be the first state in the country to ban elephant circus acts entirely, which would mark a huge step forward for these emotional and sensitive animals.

"Nosey's Law would be single biggest move we, as a unified group of advocates, could make to change the landscape of circus elephant exploitation in the U.S. New Jersey would be the first to ban circus elephants," Karen Ess, who organizes Action for Nosey Now, told The Dodo. "Action for Nosey Now, and several other groups, have been working for years to try to get representatives to support legislation that will better protect circus elephants."

Advocates are counting this as a huge win already - Senator Lesniak finally brought Nosey's suffering into the spotlight to help elephants. Now the law just needs to pass.

You can help - click here to add your name to a petition urging "Nosey's Law" to become law of the land. Then, add your name to a petition calling for Nosey to be retired to a sanctuary.

"Nosey needs this bill," Ess said, "and so do the dozens of other elephants who are suffering in the name of entertainment."

This is a developing story. We'll update this post when "Nosey's Law" goes up for a vote.