Horn & Montecore

Horn & Montecore

October 3, 2003 - It was on this night that Las Vegas entertainer Roy Horn (of Siegfried & Roy) was brutally bitten by his co-star, a white tiger named Montecore.

Horn and Montecore were in the middle of their stage show at The Mirage. Legend has it that a woman in the front row with big hair distracted the tiger. When she reached out to touch Montecore, Horn put himself between the woman and the beast. The next thing witnesses saw was Roy Horn beating the tiger with his microphone and screaming, "release, release!"

Horn fell onto his back and the tiger then grabbed him by the neck and started dragging him off the stage. In hindsight, many believe that the tiger was actually trying to help Horn - just as it would one of its cubs - by biting him on the scruff of his neck and carrying him to safety. Unfortunately for Horn, he didn't have a thick coat of fur protecting his skin, so the tiger's teeth punctured his flesh.

Only after stagehands sprayed Montecore with a fire extinguisher did the tiger let go of Horn. While being rushed to the hospital, Horn reportedly demanded, "Don't shoot the cat!"

Horn had lost a great deal of blood, and doctors had to remove a quarter of his skull to relieve the pressure of his swollen brain. He had a stroke and suffered partial paralysis.

After a hiatus of 5 years, Roy Horn and Montecore made a final appearance at a benefit for the Luo Ruvo Brain Institute. In the performance, Horn and Montecore magically switched positions while locked inside see-through containers.

Montecore died of natural causes in 2014.

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