Nosey was born in Zimbabwe in 1982. She was captured from the wild in 1984 and brought to Jumbolair Estate in Ocala, Florida by Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus exercise equipment. The capture was reported to be a rescue of 63 baby elephants from a government-issued culling. Within a few years, Jones’ plan to create a “true American herd” was abandoned and in 1986, Nosey was transferred to David Meeks of the Meeks Company in South Carolina. She was purchased by Hugo Liebel in 1988 and travelled with the Liebel Family Circus as the sole elephant performer for 29 years.
Many individuals and animal rights groups spoke out on behalf of Nosey. On November 8, 2017 Nosey was seized in Lawrence County, Alabama after an animal control officer told authorities she found signs of animal abuse. Following a court hearing, Lawrence County animal control was granted temporary custody and arrangements were made to transfer Nosey to The Elephant Sanctuary. Nosey arrived November 9, 2017 and became the 28th resident.
Along with year-round access to a heated barn and a spacious habitat, Nosey and all the elephants at The Sanctuary receive individualized veterinary and husbandry care, diverse environmental enrichment, and freedom of choice in a protected-contact setting.
At The Sanctuary, Nosey has been an active participant in her own healthcare and has continued to explore her surroundings—including wallowing in the mud and downing trees. It has been a joy to observe Nosey exhibit natural behaviors in a natural habitat setting and we look forward to continuing to provide updates about her explorations.
While a permanent custody decision has not been finalized by the court, The Sanctuary stands ready to provide lifetime care to Nosey.