Nosey the elephant’s former owners file appeal to get her back

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. - The battle over Nosey the elephant isn't over.  Late last month, a judge gave custody of the animal to Lawrence County after she was seized during a circus' pit stop.

Now, the owner of the Great American Family Circus has filed paperwork to undo that order, and get Nosey back.

The owners of the circus feel the judge wrongfully seized not only a working asset but a member of their family.

Allen Stoner, the Liebels' attorney confirmed that "the Liebels have timely filed an appeal and asked for a jury trial," which transfers the case to the Circuit Court of Lawrence County for a new trial to start over again.

After a judge gave Lawrence County custody of Nosey the elephant, the animal control officer told WHNT News 19 she had every intention of signing over permanent custody to the Tennessee sanctuary where Nosey is being held. But the Liebels' attorney says with the help of a jury, he hopes to get the elephant back.

"Lawrence County alleges the Liebels recklessly or intentionally used or neglected these animals to the point it was criminal."

Hugo and Franciszka Liebel believe December's animal cruelty arrest will be used to justify the seizure of Nosey. "If the judge decides the case should go forward with a trial on whether or not they abused or neglected the animals, a jury of 12 Lawrence County residents will decide that," said Stoner.

It's unknown when Judge Mark Craig will hear the appeal. For now, Nosey remains at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.