Dolphin trainer slated for Georgia Aquarium post found dead

José Luis Barbero, the Spanish dolphin trainer who was slated to become vice president at the Georgia Aquarium before accusations of mistreating animals in his care surfaced, has been found dead inside his vehicle in the public parking lot of the Palma de Mallorca airport, a source with the Spanish National Police tells CNN.

CNN reports the case is being treated as a suicide.

Barbero, 59, was chosen to become a new senior vice president at the Georgia Aquarium until a video surfaced last month allegedly showing him shouting at and striking dolphins at the Marineland Mallorca.

The Spanish news site said emergency services on the island of Mallorca initiated a search for Barbero on Wednesday. It reported he hadn’t been seen since first thing Tuesday morning, leaving his house in the El Toro neighborhood of Calvia, a city in Mallorca.

The CEO of the Georgia Aquarium, Mike Leven, issued a statement expressing his at the news. He noted that the aquarium had been looking into the validity of the complaints against Barbero whose previous service with the aquarium he said had been exemplary.

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