Nosey, the former circus elephant, will remain in the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary after Lawrence County Circuit Judge Mark Craig on Monday tossed out the elephant owner’s appeal and kept in effect the district court judgment awarding the elephant to the custody of the county animal control officer.
Nosey was seized from its owner Hugo Liebel of Davenport, Florida, when Liebel stopped his truck and trailer in Lawrence County to have the truck’s brakes repaired, just outside of Moulton, in November 2017. Liebel is the owner and operator of the Great American Family Circus and Nosey, a 37-year-old African elephant, was his most popular attraction.
A month later, Liebel and his wife were charged with animal cruelty involving the elephant. The misdemeanor charges came a day after a 10½-hour hearing in district court.
In January 2018, District Judge Angela Terry ordered the elephant to remain in the sanctuary, 80 miles southwest of Nashville.
Rachel Mathews, a legal counsel for the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, said the judge’s ruling “means Nosey the elephant remains safe.”
Liebel did not return calls from The Daily on Tuesday.