With this photographic lexicon I am presenting to you my pet project.
This photographic lexicon is intended to show the individuality of the elephants in an historical
and documental way, and also to present a portrait of the characteristics of the individual elephants.
Elephants have always fascinated me, even during my childhood. These imposing, intelligent, sensitive, highly
family-oriented animals, whose natural environment is today so often in jeopardy, have each unique personalities.
Throughout my travels to zoos in Germany and Europe, I have observed many zoo elephants. I have marvelled at
them, and tried to photograph them in their special uniqueness. And this is how this sizeable photo archive
came into being. I wanted to use it to build an online photographic lexicon of zoo elephants. Much of
the data required for this, such as origin, family relationships, zoo stations etc., I have taken, with
permission, from elephant websites or publications (see collaborations). This elephant photographic
lexicon should be seen as a supplement to the existing internet documents in photographic mode.
I wish to present the elephants in a matter of fact, unbiased way. Their appearance is not the subject of my
lexicon. I have purposely avoided displaying specific features of individual animals. I wish rather,
that each visitor makes up his or her own visual mind.
During the life of a zoo elephant, things can change over the years. Unfortunately I cannot always be
there to photographically document these optical or filial changes. Therefore, I look forward to your
help in complementing this photographic lexicon with additional portraits. It would be nice if over
time, a network develops and, in a not too distant future, to be able to present most of the zoo
animals, both living, but also those that have died.
At this point I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the elephant friends, those of you that have supported me with your dedication and motivation.
All the pictures that I displayed here to you are protected both with a copyright and a digital water mark.
To all visitors to the elephant photographic lexicon I wish an interesting peek into the life of zoo elephants.