Tiger Trainer Chris Lawrence Suggests Cover Up In 2003 Siegfried & Roy Mauling
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn had been staple Las Vegas act, dazzling audiences with their elaborate act until 2003 when one of their famous tigers attacked Roy Horn on stage.
Following the incident, it was said Horn has a seizure half way through the show and that was the reason for the attack.
Now, the trainer who helped save Horn’s life that night is now speaking out saying it was an error on Horn’s part and the seizure was just a cover up to explain the tiger mauling.
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The story goes, that during the act, Horn started having a seizure and Mantacore, a 400-pound, 7-foot-long striped white male tiger, had realized the performer was in distress and tried to protect him.
“I fell over. Mantacore saw that I was falling down. So he actually took me and brought me to the other exit where everybody could get me and help me. He knew better than I did where to go,” Horn told People of the incident in 2004.
But, now trainer Chris Lawrence, says Horn’s handling errors were to blame.
Lawrence, who was just a few feet away offstage, said he could see the tiger become confused and irritated before the animal knocked Horn to the ground. Lawrence said he tried to pull Mantacore back, but the tiger threw him off his feet.
Mantacore lunged at Horn, grabbed him by the neck and began to drag him off stage.
“At that point, Roy was silent. His eyes were closed. He was just still,” Lawrence recalled.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture did an investigation of the incident and found no evidence that the tiger was trying to save Horn or that he suffered from a stroke before the attack. Instead, the department noted that one witness said, “It appeared that his only intention was to kill Roy.”
Lawrence says that Horn began visiting the tigers less and less frequently leading up to the attack and he was treating the tigers more as props and less like partners.
Horn underwent numerous surgeries and was left partially paralyzed by the attack.
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