Roy Horn interacts with Mantecore, the tiger that once nearly killed him, during filming in 2013 of a German television documentary. The white tiger died March 19. (Siegfried & Roy)
The white tiger that gravely injured magician Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy in what some called an attack and others said was an effort to save the performer’s life has died.
Mantecore, one of the big cats that shared the stage with Siegfried & Roy in thousands of shows at the Mirage in Las Vegas, died March 19 after a brief illness. He was 17.
The tiger gained worldwide notoriety on Oct. 3, 2003, when he sank his teeth into Horn’s neck and dragged him off the stage during a performance. Horn, who suffered extensive blood loss, also suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed.
Neither Horn nor his performing partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, ever blamed the tiger for his actions.
Horn has maintained that the tiger acted instinctively after sensing that Horn was ill. Some reports say that Horn suffered a stroke onstage and that the tiger was seeking to drag him to someone who could help.
“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,” Horn said in a news release.
“The world has lost one of its most majestic creatures and I have lost a brother. We spent many hours together and he never failed to bring me great joy and wonderment. It was my great honor to be beside him at the end.”