Siegfried & Roy producers fear tiger-mauling tape would be seen by public
Government investigators want a videotape of the tiger attack last year on Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, but the company behind the Las Vegas magic act said it fears the horrific images would be shown to the public. Feld Entertainment Inc. said on Wednesday it offered to let authorities view the tape but insisted on maintaining possession. The company believed the footage "would quickly end up in the hands of the media, who would then sensationalize this horrible tragedy." Horn almost died after a 600-pound white tiger grabbed him by the neck and dragged him offstage during a performance at the Mirage hotel-casino on October 3. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking into the mauling under the authority of the federal Animal Welfare Act and has subpoenaed the tape.
Feld, based in Vienna, Va., said Horn and partner Siegfried Fischbacher do not want "images of this tragic accident being accessible to children and families all around the world." The company said USDA officials had seen another videotape of the attack and could call upon the "1,503 audience members who witnessed the incident" for their accounts. Horn suffered a stroke after the attack that left him partially paralyzed and caused the popular act to close. The USDA also is investigating the Ringling Bros. circus, which is run by Feld, after the death of one its lions July 12 as it was being transported on a train through the Mojave Desert. In an earlier statement about the lion death, the company said it "always cooperates fully with USDA officials." The USDA has not commented, except to confirm that investigations are under way.