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Dispute brewing over tape of tiger attack

August 26, 2004|From Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Despite two subpoenas from federal authorities, the company behind the Siegfried & Roy magic show has refused to turn over video of last year's tiger attack on illusionist Roy Horn.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture attempted to obtain video of the show but Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment would not hand over the footage, a USDA source familiar with the case said.

The source said the USDA would pursue other "legal avenues."

Under the federal Animal Welfare Act, the USDA has been investigating the Oct. 3 attack in which Horn was mauled by a 300-pound tiger during a live performance at the Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Horn survived the attack but suffered a stroke that left him partly paralyzed, and the popular, long-running show closed.

The 59-year-old Horn made a rare public appearance Tuesday night at the Cuban revue "Havana Night Club" at the Stardust hotel-casino, signaling thumbs-up from his wheelchair at the Siegfried & Roy-backed show, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday September 04, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 58 words Type of Material: Correction
Siegfried & Roy -- Articles in various sections of The Times have been in conflict about the weight of the tiger that mauled illusionist Roy Horn on Oct. 3. Times reports have given its weight as 300, 550 and 600 pounds. Siegfried & Roy's publicist and Las Vegas animal control officials said the tiger weighed about 380 pounds.

USDA spokesman Jim Rogers said Tuesday that the probe into the tiger attack remains open. He confirmed that the show is under investigation for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act but would not discuss details.

The act allows the USDA to take action against violators and impose fines and suspend or revoke licenses.

Feld Entertainment spokeswoman Shannon Pak declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation.

The USDA also is investigating the death of a Ringling Bros. circus lion. Ringling Bros. is run by Feld Entertainment.

The lion died last month on a train traveling from Phoenix to California. A lion handler said circus managers ignored his pleas to check on the animal on the long trip through the Mojave Desert, where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees.

Jim Andacht, vice president of circus operations, wrote in an Aug. 14 letter to the Washington Post that "a statement by a former Ringling Bros. employee misrepresented the events before and after the death of our 2-year-old lion, Clyde."

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