The Tattoo Project

Tattoo by Keith Winterbottom, Citrus City Tattoo

The image on this page is of ‘Ellie’, one of my tattoos, and The Tattoo Project’s logo.


Why an elephant?


Elephants form communities and have rich social bonds that provide a major component of their survival.  Elephants demonstrate ‘emotional contagion’ which means that if an elephant is in distress the others try to soothe and protect them.  For example, elephants are known to exhibit grief at the loss of a family member.  Members of their communities provide social support to the member who is grieving the most – rather than rushing the elephant through grief – they keep to her or his pace.


Unlike the ‘elephant in the room’ of humans, that which is present but intentionally avoided, elephants see, face, and communicate.



More about Elephants:


Elephant are conscious, intelligent and emotional beings, who


- display intelligence and encode experiences into long-term memory;

- are highly social, forming strong social bonds, social support, and compassion;

- are highly communicative, and even create art and music to communicate;

- are more than clever, as they have a highly developed sense of empathy, altruism, and justice;

- can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder; and

- perform rituals to mourn their dead.

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