New Netflix documentary: How a video destroyed the life of a dolphin trainer in Mallorca


It was in 2015. February. at the beginning when the video was made in Mallorca and later caused horror around the world: Ant Blurry footage from Marineland Dolphinarium in the southwest of the island was seen as a The dolphin trainer apparently insulted the animals and physically assaulted. An animal welfare group shared the video through social networks. The scandal and subsequent hate speech led to the coach’s death a few weeks later.

A Netflix documentary released on Friday (November 25) now recreates the tragedy. – What happened to the dolphin king? (English: What Happened to the Dolphin King?) traces not only the Marineland scandal, but also the story of trainer José Luis Barbero.

José Luís Barbero worked as a dolphin trainer at Marineland in Puerto Portals. Photo: DM


Just before the crowning of his career in the USA

The 59-year-old was at the time the video surfaced, Marineland is no longer open. Shortly before that, he left his job and got a job at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta (USA). It would be a great end to a long career as a Dolphins coach. After the video was released, the US Aquarium pulled out of the contract.

In 2015, it was not possible to determine whether the experienced and successful trainer really systematically abused animals. The video included phrases such as “You lazy bum”, “Are you stupid or just pretending” “Take the shit” or “I’ll hit you in the head.” There were also punches and kicks.

Dolphin in Marineland Photo: Terrace


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After the posts were released, Barbero explained that they had been manipulated with “bad intentions.” It returns one Complaint for defamation. Marineland supported the trainer. On its website, the dolphinarium explained that the animals also use positive reinforcement “with much love and affection” would be trained.

Widespread search for a dolphin trainer

in 2015 at the beginning of March, Barbero was then reported missing by not showing up for the meeting. The Guardia Civil took one large scale searchwhich involved helicopters and a Coast Guard boat.

Four days after the disappearance, the body of the dolphin trainer was found On the fourth floor of the Mallorca Airport car park found All signs pointed Suicide hin.

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