Monday, September 20, 2010

Stop the Show

We've learned that The Liebling Family Circus, featuring Nosey the elephant, has been hired to perform in Memphis, IN, on October 1, 2010. Please join us in contacting the sponsor to request that they cancel this circus.
Info for organizer:
Greg Alexander, Trustee Union Township Beautification15615
Highway 31 Memphis, IN 47143
Phone: (812) 294-3077
For those of you who may not be familiar with Nosey and her owners, she is an African elephant who has been deprived the company of other elephants for 22 years. She is owned by Otto Liebel, who operates this small, family circus. He, his wife and their three older children all perform and operate the circus. They currently travel with Nosey and a group of ponies. One pony performs in the show, and more are used for rides, attached to the spokes of a riding ring.
On a recent swing through Iowa and Illinois, several concerned citizens reported a laundry list of problems with this operation. One visitor told of the ponies being hooked up to the ride mechanism all day long with no breaks even though rides were only offered before and after the shows. They were unable to rest, stretch or lie down. When one wanted to walk, they all had to walk. No one cleaned up after them, so they walked round and round through their feces and urine.
Mrs. Liebel has a pony act. During one performance the pony tried to break free. He bucked and charged the small, portable fencing that defined the ring. A section of this fencing was pushed into a member of the audience, and the pony almost landed on top of that man. A hot, halogen light on a pole tipped precariously, and other audience members had to catch it before it landed on them or the grass.
Another visitor told of bringing her family to the circus, becoming sickened by the sight of the dirty operation, and leaving without going to the show. The family witnessed the handlers taking delight in tossing hay just beyond Nosey's reach. Rebukes by the family were greeted with more laughter. No water was offered.
Undercover video documents Nosey being struck on her head with the bullhook before entering the ring. Other video and photos show her being forced to perform painful maneuvers while lifting and carrying the teenage performers. After the show, the public was invited to ride or feed her. The handler turned away and allowed the public direct, unsupervised contact. He was unaware of a boy teasing Nosey, nor was he in a position to control her had there been any problem.
This circus is a danger to the animals and the general public. Please send a polite message to the sponsor mentioned above and ask them to not allow the Liebel(or Liebling) circus to perform in their community. More photos, video and information on Nosey, and a fax you can send to the USDA on her behalf, is available here.

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