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Illusionists Take Part in Appearing Act : Rare White Tiger Delivers 4 Cubs

July 31, 1986|Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Illusionists Siegfried and Roy, known for making elephants and tigers disappear, unveiled four newborn white tiger cubs and proclaimed their birth a first for Mother Nature.

The four cubs, weighing about 10 pounds each, screeched, squirmed and squinted as the magicians showed off the hours-old quartet on Wednesday.

"This is the first time a snow white tiger has had babies," Siegfried said, pacing the grounds of the walled compound where the entertainers keep animals used in their popular show "Beyond Belief." Only three snow white females are known to exist, he said.

"A white tiger is rarer than a panda bear," added Roy, appearing exhausted after spending the night assisting in the unique delivery.

The mother, Zenza, was in the show as scheduled Tuesday night.

"She performed like the good girl that she is," Roy said. "We brought her home and she began preparing her nest."

The first birth came before dawn Wednesday and the last by noon.

"She laid the first baby in Roy's lap," Siegfried said. "I couldn't believe it. She wouldn't let him leave. He would start to go to phone someone and she'd block his way. She wanted him there the whole time."

The entertainers, who have been a part of the Las Vegas scene more than 16 years, have raised three white tigers from birth. Two of the tigers, including the father, Neva, have black stripes, as do the babies. The mother is pure white.

Two of the tigers will be named Vegas and Nevada, the entertainers said.

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