Despite two subpoenas from federal authorities, the company behind the Siegfried and Roy magic show has refused to turn over video of last year's tiger attack on illusionist Roy Horn, the Associated Press has learned. The U.S. Department of Agriculture attempted to obtain video of the show, but Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment would not hand over the footage, a USDA source familiar with the case said Tuesday. The source said the USDA would pursue other "legal avenues." Under the federal Animal Welfare Act, the USDA has been investigating the October 3 attack in which Horn was mauled by a 300-pound tiger during a live performance at the Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Horn survived the attack but suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed, and the successful show closed. The 59-year-old Horn made a rare public appearance Tuesday night at the Cuban revue Havana Night Club at the Stardust hotel-casino, signaling thumbs-up from his wheelchair at the Siegfried and Roy-backed show, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
USDA spokesman Jim Rogers said Tuesday from Washington, D.C., that the probe into the tiger attack remains open and confirmed that the show is under investigation for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The act allows the USDA to take action against violators, impose fines, and suspend or revoke licenses. Rogers would not discuss USDA's efforts to get the footage or details of the investigation. Feld Entertainment spokeswoman Shannon Pak declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation. The USDA also is investigating the death of a Ringling Bros. circus lion (Ringling Bros. is run by Feld Entertainment), which occurred last month on a train traveling from Phoenix to California. A lion handler said circus managers ignored his pleas to check on the animal on the long trip through the Mojave Desert, where temperatures often range between 100 and 120 degrees. Jim Andacht, vice president of circus operations, wrote in an August 14 letter to The Washington Post that "a statement by a former Ringling Bros. employee misrepresented the events before and after the death of our 2-year-old lion, Clyde, including false allegations that our company and employees were withholding information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Feld Entertainment always cooperates fully with USDA officials and instructs its employees to do the same." (AP)