Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Nosey, Tanya & Mali: Captive Elephants In Crisis

February 12, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The News

Thanks to Blackfish, the world has awakened to the plight of whales in captivity, and thousands of people are fighting to outlaw it. The “Blackfish effect” also appears to be benefitting imprisoned elephants, who, like whales, are highly social and intelligent mammals who suffer in captivity. In fact, advocates around the world are running campaigns to rescue elephants who are being held alone in horrific conditions:

TANYA IN TARGU: Tanya, a 37 year old female elephant who was captured in the wild in the 1970s, is being held captive in a desolate, indoor, concrete pit at the Targu-Mures Zoo in Romania. And she has been all alone for 20 years, in spite of the fact that the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria requires that zoos house female elephants in groups. Her mental anguish is on display in this video.

Please sign the petition demanding that the Executive Director of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria send Tanya to a sanctuary

NOSEY IN NORTH AMERICA: Nosey, a 30 year old elephant who was captured in Zimbabwe when she was two, has been held captive by the Liebel Family Circus since 1988. In spite of her crippling arthritis which is captured in this video, Nosey is forced to give rides to paying customers at flea markets and fairs across the country. Advocates claim that the circus owner, Tom Liebel, and his employees have beaten Nosey into submission with bullhooks, a sledge hammer and shovel handles and that the USDA has cited Liebel nearly 200 times for violations. In spite of the violations,  abundant evidence of abuse and a veterinary report stating that Nosey is “suffering, permanently disabled and crippled,” the USDA has refused to revoke Liebel’s license to exhibit Nosey and use her for rides.

Simpon's co-creator Sam Simon has used his fortune to liberate animals.

Simpon’s co-creator Sam Simon has used his fortune to liberate animals.

Please urge your member of Congress to take action for Nosey and sign the petition demanding that the USDA confiscate her and relocate her to a sanctuary. On June  26th, hundreds of activists will descend upon the USDA in Washington, D.C. to protest  the agency’s reckless disregard for Nosey. Robin Jewell, the organizer of the historic Miracle March for Lolita, has announced a March for Nosey that will take place at the USDA office in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 23rd in 2015.

MALI IN MANILA:  Mali, an elephant captured in Sri Lanka who has been confined to a concrete enclosure at the Manila Zoo for over 35 years, is “so lonely that she holds her own tail,” according to Jolie Nicole Shanoian, an activist who administers the Facebook page about her plight. The Manila Zoo, which is determined to keep Mali in her small, barren pen that has no vegetation or water for bathing, insists that she would not survive the transport to the Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand, which is prepared to rescue her.

Please sign the petition demanding that the Mayor of Manila release Mali to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary.

Liberating elephants from captive and exploitive settings is possible. In 2005, the Detroit Zoo relocated Winky and Wanda to a sanctuary (PAWS), saying “despite our best efforts, we saw the unfortunate results of them living in an unnatural physical and social environment.” In 2014, Sunder, an elephant who was severely beaten and chained for 7 years at a temple in India, was taken from his abusers as a result of a court order and transported to a sanctuary.

Sunder: Before & After

Sunder: Before & After

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Fiona says:

    Save the beautiful beasts they deserve to be free and with their family

  2. Emy says:

    is disgusting. These gorgeous beings need our love and support not hatred and abuse. How beyond disgraceful

  3. alisha forbes says:

    This isnt far. They need to enjoy the rest of their lives.

  4. Shaina R. says:

    This is animal cruelty, there are sanctuaries available. Free them to a sanctuary.

  5. Dawn MacInnes says:

    Release them we don’t need to exploit animals in this day and age. It’s a disgrace to humanity.

  6. geraldine daly says:

    Free all of these beautiful suffering elephants to a sanctuary, where they can have love, care, freedom to move and veterinary care. A place where there’s no more cruel captors or trainers stsbbing them with bull hooks, beating and chaining them.

  7. Natasha Brenner says:

    What does it take to change bastards into decent human beings with feelings and consciences? I guess it’s up to us!

  8. Cornelia says:

    stop the torture land of elephants! You feel pain just as we humans! Let you free stop the agony finally!

  9. Sharon says:

    Thank You for including Nosey (who is is based in Florida) in this article and helping to raise much needed awareness of her & her suffering.

  10. Kristine Alison says:

    Please save the precious, innocent & voiceless elephants.

  11. kalynn borland says:

    never ever ever support the exploitation of animals so your child can ride it or watch it lay in a cage. Thats no entertainment.

  12. Greg pearl says:

    free then now!

  13. Diane LoBono says:

    Please let them be free from captivity, this is so unfair

  14. Debbie Harper says:

    Please free these animals into safe places to live out their lives in comfort not slavery. This is just so cruel and inhumane. How do these people live with themselves?

  15. heather Prater says:

    Please let them go, the don’t deserve this.

  16. guenin says:

    Ignoble honteux inhumain

  17. Diana Owen says:

    It is time to give the elephants you have kept against their will,beat with the bull hook, shocked,abused for your personal gain. Gee is that not salvery?
    Let them go you let them spend their last days knowing not all humans are äss holes!

  18. Kat Mullin says:


  19. Kat Mullin says:


  20. Kathryn White says:

    Please tell us how we can help.

    1. Kathryn White says:

      Okay – now I see it – sorry

      1. Kathryn White says:

        Signed all three

    2. Sharon says:

      You can find many actions you can take to help Nosey on these 2 links:


      1. Sharon says:

        There’s another petition asking Lloyds of London to deny renewal of the insurance policy that covers Nosey here:

        Please also add your support & share the Action for Nosey Now #NoRides4Nosey thunderclap here:

  21. Elinor Hawke-Szady says:

    I’ve signed all three of these petitions, and I’m praying that Mali, Nosey, and Tanya are all released into the care of a sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their days with their own kind. This is atrocious and cruel.

  22. Donny,

    Your article was compassionate and very informative. I did not know about Tanya. I will be sure to include her in my posts from now on, and poor Nosy as well. In fact it looks like the Mali page is going to have a lot of company, as I am finding out about lonely and suffering captive elephants around the world everyday.
    Thank you for a wonderful article – Jolie Nicole Shanoian

  23. Lindsey says:

    We are selfish, and cruel as human beings. Running animals to the ground and pushing them into either submission or agression soley for our entertainment. Find it somewhere in your heart to free these magnificent beings.

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