Dolphin trainerA SPANISH dolphin trainer accused of abusing the animals has been found dead in Mallorca.

Jose Luis Barbero, 59, was found dead inside his car at the Palma de Mallorca airport car park yesterday.

Barbero was set to become vice president of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, USA, before allegations of animal cruelty surfaced on social media.

Georgia Aquarium Chairman and CEO Mike Leven has criticised the ‘unnecessary’ and ‘unjust’ abuse Barbero suffered.

“Georgia Aquarium began a search for truth in hopes of disproving these unsubstantiated claims,” he said.

“Sadly, (Barbero) and his family received death threats, and groups and individuals rushed to judge him.

“He was not given the right or the privilege to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

“His death is untimely, unnecessary and unjust.”

In February, videos of Spanish trainers hitting dolphins circulated online.

Barbero was accused of being one of those videoed on a social media campaign to out the abusers.

Despite the low quality of footage and the video’s unconfirmed authenticity, anti-animal cruelty posters emerged on Twitter and Facebook blasting Barbero.

Barbero’s employer in Spain, Marineland Mallorca, denied the allegations and said it planned to take legal action against Barbero’s accusers.


  1. What a load of rubbish your statement is, most animals are treated very well but if you want to look at it your way then we have to include dogs cats, cows, horses sheep, just include every animal that is in captivity. I have had trained dogs for obedience shows, people train all kinds of animals. Even humans are trained animals, trained in school, trained in work to do someone’s bidding.

  2. Have some sympathy with stefanjo but were it not for responsibly run zoos (not circuses or bulls reared for ‘amusement’) many more species would be in danger of extinction. Furthermore legions of people, young and old, are becoming more aware and caring of the animal world, many funding WWF etc

  3. Kind of (reluctantly) agree with John Simpson on zoos. Although not the ones with bars. A good example is the Bioparc in Valencia, where the visitor is more caged than the animals.
    The animals are in a simulated environment. The ones that won’t eat each other- rhino, monkeys, zebra etc. mingle in a fairly natural way. The big cats are a bit bored having nothing to pounce on, but like all cats, don’t mind dozing with a full belly. So yes, there are exceptions, I just get enraged at the thought of animal abuse.

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