Barbara Trask Lovett, president of Save Nosey Now!

by | Jul 25, 2018

Barbara Trask Lovett—the president of Save Nosey Now! (SNN), an organization that helped a high-profile, long-suffering circus elephant (Nosey) win freedom from the neglectful, exploitative treatment of her owner…and seeks to educate the public about the plight of captive elephants, and pursue elephant-related litigation, legislation, protests, and other measures designed to improve their lives—recounts a childhood replete with animals, including on a family farm in Maine. In adulthood, she explains, she lived with and loved pets, but didn’t step into animal activism until decades later, after working, and raising children, and starting to have grandchildren. At that point, she began volunteering for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, working on behalf of dolphins, orcas, and other sea life, eventually forging a friendship with Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd’s swashbuckling founder and leader. In 2010, Trask Lovett explains, she heard about Nosey from a friend, and pretty quickly decided to help this African elephant living a solitary existence in Florida, but often on the road as circus performer and/or giving rides at assorted events, at the behest of her owners, Hugo and Francizka Liebel. SNN began as a Facebook page, communicating updates about the titular elephants, and actions that group members planned to undertake, notably seeking to persuade the USDA that the Liebel’s mistreatment and medical neglect of the pachyderm should cause them to forgo ownership. The USDA took no action, but late last year, she notes, Nosey was seized by the animal control department of Lawrence County, Alabama, and transported to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, where she remains, while legal issues and custody are resolved. Trask Lovett identifies Asha, an African elephant living alone at the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia, as SNN’s current focus, and discusses relevant state and federal pending legislation–and acknowledges Anna Louise, an elephant who also lived alone for about 30 years, toured in all kinds of circuses, and had died the day before the interview, strikingly young.     (,,


ALSO: I spoke with Karen Ryals, chief development officer for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, about the organization’s fundraising campaign to build a large new facility, launched by a major gift from the DeBartolo Family. She describes some of the attributes of the new building, including that it’ll be 42,000 square feet, air conditioned throughout, and is expected to help HSTB place upwards of 2000 more animals annually in forever homes. They need to raise the final $2 million, and there are multiple ways to do so. Info:

COMEDY CORNER: Brian Regan’s “Flipper & Gentle Ben” (excerpt) (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  King Crimson’s “Elephant Talk”


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