ANNOUNCEMENT – August 21, 2019


Save Nosey Now, Inc. as of today, will now be known as Free All Captive Elephants, Inc. (FACE). We have a new name and new leadership! 

The name change will lesson confusion between the Save Nosey Now FaceBook pages and the non profit organization. More importantly, the Name Free All Captive Elephants is more in line with our mission: 

 Our Mission:  provide education, intervention, and litigation, that will lead to sanctuary of ALL elephants inhumanely held in captivity in circuses and zoos in North America.

FACE remains the only non profit in the nation dedicated solely to this cause. Our laser focus on this narrow issue will continue to allow us to maximize our resources and do all that is possible to get captive elephants to sanctuaries accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Since captive elephants cannot be released back into the wild, GFAS Sanctuaries offer elephants an environment as close to true freedom as they can get. FACE will also continue to work to improve conditions for captive elephants even if they are not likely to be released.



Denise (Dee) Gaug, J.D. was elected President of FACE by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors on August 19, 2019. Dee became an administrator for Save Nosey Now in early 2017.  Dee was instrumental in getting Save Nosey Now registered as a nonprofit corporation in Florida in March, 2017. Dee was on the Board of Directors since Save Nosey Now’s Inception and served as Board Secretary. By November, 2017, Nosey was confiscated by local Alabama officials.

Prior to her involvement with Save Nosey Now, Dee worked as a trial attorney for 15 years. She has done pro-bono legal work both in Massachusetts and Florida including the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dee received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and her Juris Doctorate degree from Massachusetts School of Law. Dee was honored by being asked to be a panelist at both the Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants Conference in April 2018 and The Performing Animal Welfare Society International Captive Wildlife Conference in November, 2018. She is also the Associate Producer of FACE’s documentary BROKEN which is in the final stages of production.  BROKEN will expose the government complacency and complicit acts that keep captive elephants (and all captive animals) from achieving the freedom they so deserve. Under Dee’s leadership, FACE will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with!

On board with FACE is Robin Chandler Vitulle remaining as Vice President. She has been working side by side with Save Nosey Now, Inc. on the Board of Directors and as VP, and Save Nosey NOW! in the very early days as an administrator.

“I am honored to serve as president of an organization with such a phenomenal reputation and success record. I look forward to working with the Free All Captive Elephants (FACE) team as well as collaborating with others as we move in the direction of putting an end to seeing elephants held captive in circuses and roadside zoos in North America.”

Dee Gaug, J.D.
Free All Captive Elephants (FACE)  #FACE


Media Links:


Court Reports on Nosey’s Trial in Alabama:

Excerpt from court reporting:  

Dr. Lydia Young, full time associate veterinarian at the Elephant Sanctuary, was next to testify. She talked about her background, education, training and publications, revealing that she’s spent time in Thailand caring for a group of several thousand elephants.  She was stipulated as the state’s elephant expert. She was there when Nosey arrived at the sanctuary in the early morning hours of November 10 to observe her as she exited the transport trailer and went into their barn. She says the elephant was calm, alert and curious.

“She took her time gently exiting the trailer and was very interested in all of the new food available to her,” Young said.

Nosey had the most severe built up of dead skin of any elephant that I’ve ever observed,” she said, adding that the condition had spread all over her body.

A bacterial infection was also found in the cracks her skin, which can be life-threatening if not treated.

On the stand, she compared pictures of Nosey to other healthy elephants at the sanctuary, saying it shows how “abnormal” Nosey’s skin was.

She spoke to results from testing done on the skin on Nosey’s flank, which she says showed that the infection had been present for a very long time.

“My opinion is that the condition had been present for months to possibly years,” she added.

The longer an infection has been present, the harder it is to treat, she said.

A treatment plan was developed and implemented to help her skin repair. She may need lifelong care for her skin problems, Young said.

Urine samples also proved “lots and lots of bacteria” present in Nosey’s urine. She had a urinary tract infection, but she has improved, Young said

The defense said they felt ambushed by Young’s testimony.

X-rays of Nosey’s leg and foot show she has osteoarthritis, Dr. Young said.

She submitted them to a zoological radiologist for review. The radiologist provided a written report, also noting osteoarthritis findings.

Young says more tests need to be done, but she says there’s a presence of a “systemic, progressive musculoskeletal disease.”

“It’s believed to be an uncomfortable to painful disease as it progresses,” she added.

Nosey was also diagnosed with roundworm and was dewormed with medicine.

The defense pointed out that other elephants have died while living at the sanctuary. Dr. Young says the sanctuary exists to care for aging elephants. Since her employment, it has lost six elephants since 2014.


The defense attorney went on to mention that the USDA looked at Nosey four days before she was seized and before she was examined by the sanctuary staff, but the USDA did not confiscate.

The defense questioned Dr. Young’s various prognoses, saying nothing was immediately life threatening.

“If she is returned to the conditions she was previously held…in my opinion, those circumstances could be very detrimental to her health,” Dr. Young testified. “In those conditions, she will not improve.”

For four months a year, the defense says Nosey is in Florida on the Liebel family’s property.

Dr. Mark Wilson, Nosey’s longtime vet who has worked at many zoos throughout the country during his long career, took the stand in late afternoon. He treats Nosey four to five times a year and has been her vet for about a decade.

When he saw her in late April, early May, he did not notice any abnormalities in her motion and found her to be in good shape. He added that African elephants have more skin and more layers of skin on their bodies, as compared to Asian elephants.

He looked at the x-rays taken at the sanctuary of Nosey’s leg and found them to be inaccurate because of how she was positioned and due to the sanctuary’s “protected contact,” which is different from “hands-on contact.

Dr. Wilson says Liebel has always done everything he’s ever been asked to do by the USDA and Florida Game Commission when it comes to Nosey’s care. Her trailer has always met standards, he added.

According to Wilson, Nosey’s attitude is not the same after seeing her at the sanctuary and he believes she is traumatized and has separation anxiety after being removed from the care of the Liebel family.

“She not all mentally there… She’s not quite mentally herself,” he said.

He does not believe she needs medical attention every day. 

Prosecutors had Wilson go back through his records and there were notes that Nosey had a skin problem 20 years ago.

Next to testify was Franklin Murray, who has trained elephants since 1967 and knows the Liebel family. He has known Nosey for 25 years. He told the court that he has never seen them mistreat her or witnessed her in a medically endangered situation.

Hugo Liebel, Nosey’s owner, was the last on the stand. He said she had enough food and water and that a vet certified her as healthy in October before he could come into Alabama.

Liebel said activists have an agenda.

NOTE by Free All Captive Elephants:  Highlighted text shows the complacency and complicit acts by the USDA, FWC and Nosey’s Vet, Dr. Mark Wilson.  Nosey had numerous physical ailments that were found upon her arrival at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. She was throughly examined by expert staff showing this egregious list ofn life threatenting ailments under the ‘care” of the Liebel Family Circus, yet she was permitted to continue to perform and give rides. only one month before her rescue to sanctuary.  This is proof of the situation bestowed upon many captive elephants all over the USA.  FACE is dedicated in helping ALL captive elephants suffering just as Nosey once did.  


Animal Defense Partnership calls for better elephant conditions at Natural Bridge Zoo

Natural Bridge Zoo responds to concerns about elephant

Ruling: Nosey to remain in county custody

INTERVIEW COEXIST: Coe Lewis 8/7/2020: