USDA revokes Nosey the elephant’s former owner’s animal license

Photo: Dusty Grimes

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. — The owner of an elephant at the center of animal cruelty charges will no longer be able to exhibit animals to the public after a ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A USDA law judge ruled to revoke the Animal Welfare Act license of Hugo Liebel. Liebel was the owner of the Great American Family Circus based out of Orlando. During a stop in Moulton in 2017, concerns were raised over Nosey the elephant’s condition. An investigation into mistreatment resulted in a judge ordering county officials to take control of Nosey and four horses connected to the family circus.

Hugo and Franciszka Liebel

Libel and his wife, Franciszka Liebel, were arrested and charged in December 2017 on animal cruelty charges. They were both released on a $1,000 bond.

Nosey now calls the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary home. According to a news release from PETA, Nosey is well and thriving.

Click here to read the full order.

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