U.S. Senator Raymond J. Lesniak is, by all measures, an animal lover.
He has spoken out against dog fighting, calling for stiffer penalties. He’s also against transporting horses for slaughter for human consumption, confinement of pigs, baiting black bears for hunting, shark finning and trading tiger parts. And now, he is lobbying for freedom for Nosey.
Nosey, 33, is a captive, solitary African elephant that has been touring the United States for decades since her capture in the wild as a youngster. She has been on display at circuses and country fairs as well as giving rides despite failing health.
Animal welfare activists, including PETA and Elephants DC, have been lobbying the U.S. Department of Agriculture for years to step in. The department has issued warnings and sanctions over the years. But now, Lesniak is taking a crack at the case, hoping for a more permanent solution.
— Senator Ray Lesniak (@SenatorLesniak) July 7, 2015
He wants the animal’s owner, Hugo Liebel, to lose his license to keep the creature and he wants the elephant taken away and placed with other elephants.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has offered to take Nosey in.
“The mistreatment of Nosey is the very sort of abuse Congress intended to prevent when the Animal Welfare Act was amended to include animals used in exhibition,” Lesniak wrote in his letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “…Nosey deserves to spend her remaining years in peace and in the company of other elephants.”
Main Photo PETA