It's no secret that many animal-rights activists are opposed to zoos, and I'm sure there are a fair share of folks who are also put off by my delight in being able to get in the water and pet a dolphin.
On the other hand, some people say the touch tanks and other animal encounters are a way to foster a bond between people and animals. And that bond makes people care more about wildlife -- and more likely to support animal conservation efforts.
Both sides seem to have a point. I couldn't help but wonder if Ripley the dolphin was going out of its mind being confined to a pool in Indianapolis (a nice pool, but it's no ocean...), or if, at the end of the day, it's not such a bad life to have your food readily available and not have to worry about some shark tearing your head off.
What do you think? Cool or cruel?