Las Vegas – Sunday, 1 March 2009
Illusionists Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn have performed a single final act on stage – with the Bengal tiger which attacked Horn five years ago.
The trio carried out an illusion for a charity event in Las Vegas – their first appearance since the mauling.
The act involved Fischbacher in a cage which was then covered by drapes. When Horn removed the drapes, the tiger had replaced Fischbacher.
Their careers ended in 2003 when the tiger sank his teeth into Horn’s neck. He was dragged off stage by the tiger in front of a horrified audience.
After the incident, Horn claimed that the tiger had tried to move him out of danger after he fainted – a theory which was disputed by animal experts.
In Saturday’s performance neither performer spoke. The Associated Press reported that Horn limped, and had to steady himself on his co-star’s shoulder as they went on stage dressed in cloaks and masks to disguise who was who.
The crowd gave them a standing ovation at the end of the act, when they removed their masks and waved.