Written by Lisa Blanck
In anticipation of the June 26 peaceful protest on behalf of Nosey the elephant, the group Save Nosey Now, We Are Her Voice! (SNN) has organized another tweetstorm, and are launching it onJune 17. The protest will be held at 1500 Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C., on the doorstep of the USDA offices.
Their #savenoseynow Tweetstorm that ran last month, on May 15, continually trended in the top three tweets for that day and the days following. If you want to get involved in theJune 17 Tweetstorm, SNN will provide a link to their tweetsheet on this Facebook page. SNN asks that you wait to tweet until June 17 to have the most impact. It’s extremely easy to follow; just click the links and tweet away. If you don’t have a Twitter account, this is a great time to join. You can use either of these two hashtags: #savenoseynow or #life4nosey. The first Tweetstorm was so overwhelming that some tweeters had trouble getting through. Please don’t be discouraged, just try again later in the day. Nosey needs your support.
Additionally, the group Action for Nosey Now (AFFN) has a Thunderclap launching on June 16. The goal for the Thunderclap is to convince the USDA and APHIS, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to have Nosey reexamined and have new radiographs taken of her. Recent reports and videos indicate that she is having increased difficulty walking. Moreover, she should not have people hanging from her tusks, and forced into giving rides to more people than legally allowed by the USDA regulations. Below you will read the reasons why elephants should not be used in this manner at all. Yet her long-time captors continually flaunt governmental regulations. Her most recent physical evaluation, in November 2014, was performed by a veterinarian from the University of Florida. They promised to repeat the examination; as of today, this has not yet been done.
You can support the AFNN Thunderclap on Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler, and the links to their push to help Nosey can be found here.
CompassionWorks International (CWI) is also working on Nosey’s behalf. Please watch the footage they provided, shot at an event in 2013. You can see how overloaded she is with passengers. She is suffering. You can join in their Circus Protest here.
All the groups involved with Nosey have the same ultimate goal. Getting Nosey out of the hands of her present owners, the Liebel family, and into a sanctuary in Tennessee. If this goal falls short, that is, if she is not released to a sanctuary, but is released to a zoo, though not ideal, that would be far better than her current situation. The groups supporting her understand there is no guarantee that should Nosey, a 32-year-old African elephant, win her freedom, after 30 years of isolation from others of her kind, that they would have any control over where she would be placed. But at least she would have contact with other elephants, which she has not experienced while in the hands of the Liebels.
If you’d like to catch up on the story of Nosey, it has been covered extensively by Examiner in a pair of articles in May, 2015. The first article, linked here, will give you an introduction to her story. The second, linked here, provides additional contacts, groups involved in her cause, information on last month’s Tweetstorm and the upcoming scheduled protest in Washington.
A number of concerned citizens have contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regarding Nosey. No matter what the date of their correspondence, everyone receives an almost identical form letter, which closes with this sad statement:
“Nosey was deemed to be in good physical condition, and no husbandry changes, treatment, or further diagnostics were recommended as a result of these evaluations. Based on these findings, no action regarding Mr. Liebel’s license is warranted at this time.”
If you have any doubt that elephants should not be utilized at county fairs, carnivals, circuses, zoos or other recreational activities, please read the statement below from PAWS, the Performing Animal Welfare Society. Established in 1984, with three huge locations in California, their sanctuaries are places where,
“abandoned, abused or retired performing animals can live in peace and dignity.”
PAWS investigates reports of abused performing and exotic animals, document cruelty and assist in investigations and prosecutions by regulatory agencies to alleviate the suffering of captive wildlife. The co-founder, Pat Derby, worked with exotic animals as a trainer on the set of many popular tv shows in the 1970’s such as Flipper, Daktari, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Gentle Ben. It was after being on these sets that she learned of the abusive training on various movie and television sets and prompted she and her partner, Ed Stewart to begin advocating for better standards of care for animals and captive wildlife.
The people who have compiled the statement below, for PAWS, includes veterinarians, founders of a number of elephant specialist groups such as ElephantVoices, the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, former zoo directors and consultants from San Diego, Tucson, Seattle, Los Angeles, North Carolina and Australia. Elephant Aid, the director of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the Born Free Foundation and animal behavior consultants also weighed in on the 2013 statement, which lists their opposition to elephant rides, and clearly outlines why they should be outlawed, in the points below.
- It is wrong to allow our children to think that elephants used for rides are living an acceptable life, when evidence for the opposite is overwhelming.
- Reducing elephants to the equivalent of a carnival ride distorts the public’s understanding of elephants and of their endangered status in the wild.
- Elephants are highly intelligent, curious and socially complex animals who possess a range of emotions, and are empathetic and self-aware. It is appalling to see these astonishing animals reduced to walking in small circles for hours as they give rides.
- Elephants used for rides were traumatically taken from their mothers as calves. Female elephants, those typically used for rides, would naturally remain with their families for life.
- Elephants used for rides are deprived of what is natural to them, including the ability to move freely in a vast natural environment, to be part of a family and extended social network, and to have choice and control over their lives.
- The interests and well-being of elephants used for rides will always be secondary to the profits the company needs to maintain itself.
- It is wrong to keep alive an outdated practice that we know is brutal for elephants.
As PAWS clearly states, the times are changing. Nosey the Elephant Needs Our Help, another group trying to win freedom for Nosey, provides a link to trailer for a documentary produced by HBO, entitled An Apology to Elephants. Join the Tweetstorm. Take part in the Thunderclap. Attend the Washington protest, if you are able, though everyone involved understands if you cannot. But please, do whatever you can to help Nosey change the rest of her life.