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Old 10-09-2003, 06:52 PM   #1

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Well I must say, I admire they are atleast standing by their tiger rather than blaming it. If this is true it will make this event alot less terrible than it seems.

Siegfried Says Tiger Was Trying to Help
Thu Oct 9, 3:10 PM ET

By ADAM GOLDMAN, Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS - The tiger that injured Roy Horn of the duo "Siegfried & Roy" had been trying to help the illusionist after he slipped and accidentally harmed him by using too much force, says Horn's partner, Siegfried Fischbacher.

Slideshow: 'Siegfried & Roy' Magician Mauled by Tiger

Doctor: Roy Recovering From Tiger Attack
(AP Video)

"A cat is a tiger and when he wants to protect his pal he does it the way a tiger does, with his strength," Fischbacher said in an interview broadcast Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "But we are human; we are a little more fragile."

"The cat realized there was something wrong," he said. "Roy slipped, I run after, all my animal handlers run after, so he was just confused."

Fischbacher said Wednesday on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he had been standing backstage when Horn was wounded by the Royal White tiger named Montecore.

The illusionist tripped and the tiger lunged, grabbing Horn's arm, Fischbacher said. After Horn tried to free himself by hitting the tiger on the head with a microphone, the 600-pound animal took hold of his neck and then dragged him offstage. Show workers set off fire extinguishers backstage to distract the tiger, which then scurried to his cage.

Fischbacher said the tiger didn't intend to kill Horn. If that was the case, he said, "I wouldn't be here, Roy wouldn't be here."

According to Fischbacher, Horn muttered after the attack: "Don't harm the cat."

Fischbacher hinted at a return to the stage if Horn recovers, saying the duo would "take a different path, I'm sure, but ... the show is our life."

The duo's manager Bernie Yuman told The Associated Press early Thursday that Siegfried would never continue to perform without his longtime partner. "It is Siegfried and Roy and that's the way it began and that's the way it will always be," he said.

"Siegfried & Roy" debuted in 1990 at The Mirage and earned the hotel-casino about $44 million in annual revenue. The show's 267 employees have been told to find new jobs.

Horn, 59, was injured Friday before a sellout performance of 1,500.

Fischbacher said Horn still can't talk but is communicating through hand signals — one gesture for "yes," two for "no."

"So we talk. ... and also with eye contact," he said. "When you are that long together ... he understood exactly what I was saying. I could see it in his face."

Horn remained in critical condition Wednesday at University Medical Center but has shown signs of improvement. Doctors said he moved his hands and feet during the weekend.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Fischbacher confirmed that Horn suffered a stroke after the attack but did not discuss Horn's injuries or whether Horn is expected to recover fully.

"We take it hour by hour, day by day," Fischbacher said.

Fischbacher spoke inside the "Jungle Palace," one of his Las Vegas homes that's dotted with exotic animal statues and filled with magic books.

No exotic animals were visible, just some house cats, a black palm Cockatoo and a 10-year-old French bulldog named Piaf.

The cat remains quarantined at the casino. The federal Agriculture Department is investigating.
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:19 PM   #2
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Yeah, i've read about that, but i find it hard to believe. I've never heard of such a thing as a helpful tiger, unless the guy had "Mowgli powers" or something.

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Old 10-10-2003, 03:45 AM   #3

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Well, you know cats drag their young around by the neck. Tigers can do the same. Maybe the tiger just saw him as a helpless little kitty in distress.
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:13 AM   #4
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Well, my guess is that the tap on the nose pissed the tiger off, enough for it to take a bite out of Roy. Maybe you can tap a cocker spaniel on the nose and get away with it, but i'm not sure if a 7 year old tiger will put up with it.
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:34 AM   #5
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It is a possibility as a tiger can kill a man with a swipe from his paw. If the tiger had wanted to kill him he could have killed him with a single swip or bite. I have two cats and I often wonder how they don't claw each other to pieces when they play, because when they play the same way with me it doesn't tickle when they use there mouth and claws while playing but yet they never hurt each other.

[ 10-10-2003, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: pritchke ]
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Old 10-10-2003, 11:00 AM   #6
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Trying to read the tea leaves as to a tiger's reasoning seems absurd in the end. Look, it's an animal. It has instincts we will never understand. It deserves neither blame nor sympathy for its action. Something clicked inside it, that's all. Ever been petting a cat and had it suddenly become alert, claw you once, and take off running around playing cat games? These creatures are simply not very domestic. Sure, we can share an empathy with them, but we can no more understand the inner workings of their brains than they can understand ours -- at least where a single specific act is concerned.
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Old 10-10-2003, 11:32 AM   #7
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I read that same article and I have to agree that Siegfried is really clutching at straws here. I think he is afraid public opinion will be against the tiger and he is trying to defend it's actions. I don't think the tiger was trying to "protect" Roy at all. Whether Roy slipped or not, I don't know. What I do know - from the accounts I've read - is that he ended up smacking the tiger on the nose harder than he meant to and the tiger simply reacted to a percieved attack the same way any other wild animal one.

I saw a similar clip on Real TV one time where an Indian boy (as in India, not Native American) had a pet lion, and several of his friends were squatting down and petting it. Suddenly, the lion turned and grabbed one of the boys by the arm and it took all of his friends strength to drag him away from the lion. When they replayed the video in slow motion, you could see that the boy that got attacked shifted positions slightly. When he did, he slipped and accidentally stepped on the lions paw...which caused the lion to turn and attack.

I think the same thing happened here....but I do admire Roy for telling them not to harm the tiger immediately after the attack. Whatever your opinion of Siegfried and Roy keeping these animals in captivity, it seems obvious that both of them care very deeply for the animals.
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:33 PM   #8
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Totally off topic but i remember at the zoo in Nepal there was a tiger and a sign was set up that said to stand back this tiger has tasted human..
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:19 PM   #9
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Fischbacher is right, the tiger did try to help. It tried to help itself to a dinner of Roy Horn.


[ 10-10-2003, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: khazadman ]
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Old 10-10-2003, 04:38 PM   #10
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Last time I was at the zoo the tiger was trying to get some sleep in the shade, but the people out side the cage were noisy. The Tiger not being able to get at them lets lose and pisses all over the crowd, then wanders off. I got out off the way so I thought it was funny stuff.

[ 10-10-2003, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: pritchke ]
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