It isn’t until the end that The Times reveals that Tilly could be protected by SeaWorld from fair punishment for his crime because he is the aquarium/amusement park’s “largest, oldest male and he has sired 14 calves — making him the park’s top stud.”

So in biological and economic terms Tilly is essentially one of the animal kingdom’s most valuable defendants.

This is going to be the trial of the century. I cannot wait!

Alexandra Fenwick is an assistant editor at CJR.