Morgan's time in captivity doesn't preclude her from being retrained to live back in the wild, but as her court case lingers longer and longer, each day of delay condemns her to a life that is not life.
A new poll just out this morning, the first-ever survey of US public opinion on attitudes toward keeping killer whales in captivity, does not bear good news for the marine mammal industry, and in particular SeaWorld.
Dolphins are the ocean's most intelligent creatures, and they are not so different from us. As we have struggled to survive the economic impacts of the BP disaster, dolphins too are under increasing stress to provide food for their families.
This is not as radical an idea as it may sound. The law is fully capable of making and unmaking "persons" in the strictly legal sense. But that would be unlikely to happen with whales, dolphins, or even great apes.
My new book about killer whales in captivity -- Death at SeaWorld -- does not hit stores for another five months, and already there are two online petitions (here is one) to boycott the title and urge booksellers and the media to ignore and reject the book.