An Eye on Wildlife

Wildlife Conservation Society Menu
The Climax of Happiness: Helen Keller Visits the Bronx Zoo

March 19, 2015

The Climax of Happiness: Helen Keller Visits the Bronx Zoo

- as seen by -

Madeleine Thompson Madeleine Thompson

In celebration of Women’s History Month, I’m sharing an image of one of the Bronx Zoo’s most distinguished visitors, Helen Keller.

Accompanied by her young nieces on a 1922 visit, Keller delighted in all aspects of the zoo and met orangutans, giraffes, and snakes.  But for Keller, the “climax of happiness” came from meeting Alice, one of the Zoo’s Indian elephants.

As she wrote of Alice in the New York Zoological Society Bulletin,  “She seemed to realize that I was different from the others. Elephants are very intelligent. I suppose Alice observed the uncertain movement of my hands. At any rate, she scrutinized me intently, and caressed my face, my shoulder, and even my foot lightly with her trunk! Everyone was surprised at her affectionate manner towards me, although they knew she was kindly disposed and trustworthy.”

Bronx, USA Map It


Leave a Comment

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

March 5, 2022 at 3:49 pm

She was amazing and I agree with her that the elephants are highly intelligent and have great empathy. We are very lucky they don’t judge all humans as the same. I think we could learn a lot from all the animals.