Roy Horn, of the long-running Las Vegas magic act which featured live big cats such as lions, cheetahs, and, famously, two white tigers (one of which attacked Horn in 2003), has died of complications from COVID-19. He was 75.
Said Siegfried Fischbacher: “Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend. 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. … Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days. 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.”
NBC News Los Angeles adds: “The pair gained international recognition for helping to save rare white tigers and white lions from extinction. Their $10 million compound was home to dozens of rare animals over the years. The white lions and white tigers were the result of a preservation program that began in the 1980s. ‘The good news is that the white tigers and white lions are going into the 21st century,’ Horn said in a 1999 interview with The Associated Press. ‘The bad news is that if we don’t do something about the tigers in the wild, they will disappear.’ Siegfried & Roy’s show, incorporating animal antics and magic tricks, included about 20 white tigers and lions, the number varying depending on the night. The show also had other exotic animals, including an elephant.”