Dolphin Trainer Found Dead - A dolphin trainer was found dead inside his vehicle in a public parking lot in Spain after he went missing on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports. Spanish dolphin trainer Jose Luis Barbero disappeared earlier this week, just two days before a troubling video showed up online that activists say shows alleged abuse. Barbero was set to become a senior vice president at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.
Aquarium leaders confirmed it hired consultants to analyze the video, and to see if it’s authentic. A former FBI agent hired by the aquarium traveled to Spain as part of his investigation.
While the dolphin trainer was found dead, the Georgia Aquarium is once again stunned, first by his disappearance and now by the Barbero’s death. Barbero received death threats immediately once the video surfaced. After receiving the news about his disappearance the Aquarium released a statemen
“We are very concerned. We hope he turns up soon and that everything is all right. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”
The Spanish media also reported their own investigation as they searched for Barbero. The original video shows Barbero hitting and kicking dolphins, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal. Georgia Aquarium CEO Mike Leven said he wanted Barbero to get fair judgment.
“We want Jose Barbero to get fair treatment, a fair judgment, and we will stand behind him until this video is proven to be true or false.”
A former FBI agent hired by the aquarium traveled to Spain as part of his investigation just before the dolphin trainer was found dead.
The Georgia Aquarium released a statement on the investigation in Barbero Friday afternoon:
“Our search for truth into the allegations against Jose Luis Barbero continues. Until our investigation is complete, we will not make any decisions regarding his employment, so at this time, Mr. Barbero remains in Spain. We are committed to making decisions based on factual information and very thorough analysis. We have a zero tolerance policy against the mistreatment of animals and continue to investigate every aspect of this matter. We appreciate your patience and support as we sort through this difficult situation.”
The dolphin trainer found dead is was apparently trying to leave Spain after the death threats, notes WSB-TV Atlanta. His status remained as a consultant and not a full-time employee with the aquarium. Barbero was originally expected to start work in Atlanta in early March.