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Entertainment Remembering Roy Horn's 2003 Tiger Mauling After Illusionist's Death from Coronavirus

09:30  09 may  2020
09:30  09 may  2020 Source:   people.com

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Roy Horn died of complications of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Friday, but not before surviving a tiger attack on stage during a Las Vegas show in 2003.

a man that is standing in the dark: The onstage attack left the entertainer © Provided by People The onstage attack left the entertainer "a little bit handicapped," he said in 2013

Horn, who died on Friday at the age 75 of complications from the contagious respiratory virus, was attacked by a 600-pound tiger named Montecore while on stage with his Siegfried & Roy partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, in October 2003. The mauling took place on the entertainer's 59th birthday.

The attack marked the end of the duo's run at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, which began in 1990.

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Recounting the attack 10 years afterward in a rare interview with Las Vegas Weekly, Horn maintained that the massive tiger was only trying to help him.

"I had high blood pressure at that time, and because of the energy level of the show, I got excited and passed out onstage and fell, unfortunately," Horn explained. "Montecore looked at me with his big blue eyes and was confused, and so he picked me up by the neck. He brought me to the side so he could attend to me."

a group of people standing around a fire: Siegfried and Roy © Provided by People Siegfried and Roy

The incident landed Horn in the hospital with severe blood loss, and he ended up suffering a stroke.

"Pain is my best friend," Horn told Las Vegas Weekly in 2013, adding that there was no activity he wished he could do that he was unable to perform due to the attack. "I have to live with it. [But] I am doing pretty well. I am a little bit handicapped, but I’m not an invalid. I can do a lot of things. I can walk, I can go swimming, I can go to the gym, I can go shopping."

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"I am very grateful, every day, for every breath I am taking," the illusionist added. "That is my message to anyone who has had a stroke or a heart attack: Keep moving. Make progress. Pull yourself together, because you can do it."

Siegfried and Roy © Provided by People Siegfried and Roy

Horn wanted to make clear that his injuries were an accident.

"But we need to rectify — he never attacked me," he said of Montecore. "If a tiger attacks you, you are finished."

Horn appeared on stage with Fischbacher in 2009 for a "final bow" that included an appearance from Montecore.

On Friday, Fischbacher, 80, said in a statement to ABC that he had lost his "best friend."

a man and a woman holding a dog posing for the camera: Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn © Provided by People Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn Siegfried & Roy, Roy Horn are posing for a picture: 666003975EM098_Criss_Angel_ © Provided by People 666003975EM098_Criss_Angel_

"Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend," Fischbacher said. "From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried."

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"Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days," Fischbacher continued. "I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy's life."

Horn tested positive for COVID-19 in April.

In Memoriam 2020: Remembering the stars we lost [via Photo services]

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