Roy's Former Boss Sees Some Recovery

10/13/2003 7:28AM

Siegfried & Roy may roar again, according to the Las Vegas animal trainers' former boss, original Mirage Hotel owner Steve Wynn.

Wynn tells Reuters that doctors tending to Roy Horn, 59, have given him a 95 percent or better chance of surviving his Oct. 3 tiger mauling.

"He is improving every day. It looks like he is turning the corner," said Wynn, who visited Horn in the hospital late last week, and said that Horn was breathing for hours at a time without the use of a respirator.

Wynn adds that medical tests showed Horn did not sustain any permanent brain injuries and that the illusionist was communicating by squeezing with his right hand, which was at full strength.

Horn has been listed in critical but stable condition since the incident, and the Siegfried and Roy Show has been closed down.

"He was not following me with his eyes, but he was following me with his hands," Wynn told the news service. "It will be a couple of weeks before we know the extent of any (physical) handicap."

Wynn's view of the incident, which has captured the attention of the nation (and serves as the subject of PEOPLE's current cover story), was that Horn tripped during the performance while trying to distract the attention of the 600-lb. white tiger from a woman in the audience with a large hairdo who had attempted to pet the animal.

The tiger had grabbed Horn by the forearm before the fall, and Horn rapped him on the nose with a microphone, causing a noise that could have startled the animal, which then grabbed Horn by the neck.

"He walks off stage, right as with rehearsal," Wynn said. He and Roy's partner, Siegfried Fischbacher (who was interviewed on CNN last week) concur that tiger was protecting Roy.

"There's no mystery," insists Wynn.

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