Tiger in Roy Attack Out of Quarantine
Montecore, the 600-lb. white tiger that mauled "Siegfried and Roy" costar Roy Horn on Oct. 3, is to be released from quarantine Tuesday and will continue to live at an animal habitat at Las Vegas's Mirage, officials at the hotel-casino tell the Associated Press.
Montecore has been in isolation since the attack to ensure that the animal does not have rabies.
As of Monday, Horn, 59, remained in critical condition at University Medical Hospital, though officials said he was improving after the two surgical operations, massive blood loss and a stroke that he suffered after the attack.
MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said Horn gave the cat a command during the Oct. 3 show. The animal did not obey and suddenly grabbed the performer's arm with its mouth, and then went for Horn's throat.
Show staff used fire extinguishers to get the animal to release Horn, who reportedly gasped: "Don't harm the cat." The tiger then retreated to its transport box.
Since the attack, the "Siegfried and Roy" show has been closed after more than 5,500 performances. More than 200 show employees have been laid off, AP notes.
While animal activists have been calling for Siegfried and Roy to retire their animals, PEOPLE, in this week's issue, reports that no one ever expected Montecore to be destroyed.
"What Roy has said over and over again was that if something were to happen, that it would not be the tiger's fault, but his fault," the duo's longtime manager, Bernie Yuman, tells the magazine.
Added former Mirage owner Steve Wynn: "If Roy gets out of that bed, the first place he'll go is to that cat. Nothing on earth will stop him. And he'll tell Montecore that everything is cool."
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