Nice post from Jerry Coyne today on the orca that killed a trainer at Sea World, and on zoos and aquariums in general. (Did you know there used to be human zoos?)
This story has an interesting twist. Sea World has said it has no intention of killing the animal, which surprised me. It seems to me the usual way of dealing with animals that kill humans has been to exact retribution--odd as that is, considering that animals are (surely) not responsible for their "crimes." But no--the orca will stay. Stay forever? Stay on display? We'll see.
I've always loved visiting zoos and aquariums, so it's with regret that I've come to see them as indefensible (though I can't say I'll never go again). From a child's point of view, an elephant in a cage and an orca in a tank are more or less in a natural habitat. When we grow up (literally and figuratively) and learn about the lives of animals, we come to see that zoos and aquariums are horribly restrictive prisons (particularly for large mammals)--as much as they're fun places to visit.