U.S. lawmaker Raymond Lesniak lobbies to free Nosey the elephant

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.

Action for Nosey Now/Facebook

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.

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

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.


  1. For beastly sake, let this elephant live out her remaining years with some dignity, love and companionship.

  2. Thank you Senator for the wonderful letter that you wrote to the Sec. of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, about Nosey the elephant and the need for her freedom. Thank you so much for recognizing the plight of Nosey, that she’s been in captivity her whole life, with no elephant companions, forced to perform in circuses when she has severe degenerative joint disease and crippling arthritis that makes it very painful for her to do the tricks she is forced to perform. Thank you so much for your compassion and for taking a stand for her. Her freedom just started to look much more attainable. God bless you!

  3. Please fight for Nosey. She should be able to live out her life in a sanctuary. Her current owners only care about how much money she will make them. Please help her.

  4. Firstly, thank you for stepping in and helping Nosey. Secondly, it is criminal that it has taken this long to free this poor Elephant! I don’t know when or why we have ever thought it right to capture wild animals and force them to entertain for greedy and soulless people to profit from. Just by a glance you can see how ill this Elephant truly is, her skin is sagging, dry, cracking, the inside of her mouth is white, she is tired and depressed. The very least we could do for this poor soul is to let her live out her remaining years in a sanctuary with other Elephants. Elephants flourish in herds, not solitary confinement. Thank you again for joining the good fight, may Nosey’s journey to freedom be swift!

  5. Thank you for recognizing Senator Lesniak for being an outspoken advocate for animals. The situation that Nosey is in is all too common. USDA refuses to properly enforce the Animal Welfare Act. Citizens, concerned residents of other countries and forward thinking politicians like Senator Lesniak need to keep the pressure on.

    Free Nosey! Sanctuary for all captive elephants.

  6. Thank you, Senator Lesniak. Nosey is an elephant for whom I have empathy. She is old and diagnosed with arthritis. She will die in harness if she is not freed. Why should any intelligent, family-driven animal be used as she has? And why did the USDA renew LIebel’s license? The US has the Animal Welfare Act. Does it not work? Please. As many voices as were raised for Cecil the Lion would also speak out for Nosey.

  7. Dear Senator Lesniak. Thank you so much for trying to help poor Nosey. The usda has basically ignored all letters,phone calls and emails regarding Nosey’s plight. I sent a detailed letter to our President Obama two weeks ago regarding Nosey. Is it possible for you to confer with him on behalf of Nosey? God bless you richly for all the good you do for everyone. You would make a fine Governor.

  8. Thank you Senator Lesniak, Please keep up the good fight to free Nosey. Never never give up on freeing her from these mean people who will not allow her the peace and rest she needs continue to abuse her. Why did the USDA renew his license? Its not right, we are not a 3rd world country and animals have some rights that need to be increased to allow full protections under the law and even just for compassion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.