Tiger That Mauled Siegfried & Roy Magician Dies at 17
Las Vegas performers Siegfried & Roy said goodbye to their beloved white tiger, Mantecore, on Mar. 19.
The giant cat, who had been a part of their show at The Mirage Resort & Casino, passed away after a short illness, the duo announced in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
"The world has lost one of its most majestic creatures, and I have lost a brother," pledged Roy Horn, despite being attacked by the animal in 2003, when Mantecore hauled him off stage and caused serious injury.
Horn has long forgiven the animal for the violent incident, which left him critically injured and suffering from severe blood loss, with 25 percent of his skull ultimately being removed.
"I will forever believe it was his concern for my safety and well-being that caused him to act as he did on that night long ago. We spent many hours together, and he never failed to bring me great joy and wonderment," he revealed.
"It was my great honor to be beside him at the end. He is now playing with his siblings in White Tiger heaven."
Horn, who began performing with partner Siegfried Fischbacher at the Mirage in 1990 in what became the most-visited show in Las Vegas, went on to say of Mantecore, "His contribution to the avalanche of awareness for conservation and preservation has made him unforgettable.
"His spirit will live forever with Siegfried & Roy and his multitude of fans."
Roy wrote a lengthy dedication on the magical duo's Facebook page to their long-running sidekick, which Horn described as the lifesaver "who was the one responsible for pulling me to safety where the Paramedics could help me after my high blood pressure made me dizzy on stage."
"I feel like a part of me is gone," said the magician, who had nursed the white tiger cub from birth. "Farewell my dear friend … know that your image is forever burned into my heart."