A neurosurgeon for Siegfried & Roy’s Roy Horn says it’s “miraculous” that the famed tiger tamer survived last week’s onstage attack by a white tiger — but it’s uncertain whether the Las Vegas icon will be able to make a total recovery, Reuters reports.
Still, his longtime partner is optimistic. Siegfried Fischbacher tells Germany’s Bild newspaper, “I’m sure he’s going to make a complete recovery. He’s over the worst. When I went to visit Roy he gave me the victory sign.”
Fischbacher also vowed, “Our show will go on.”
“What happened does not mean it’s ended,” Fischbacher said. “We’ve always been fighters. The history of ‘Siegfried & Roy’ is nowhere near its conclusion.”
On Tuesday, Horn’s neurosurgeon, Derek Duke, released a statement saying Horn was still in critical condition after Friday’s attack. “Mr. Horn’s injury was extremely severe, and it is all but miraculous that he is alive at this time,” he said.
A spokesman said Horn, 59, was able to move his right hand and both feet to communicate with those at his hospital bedside, the wire service notes. The rep would not say whether Horn’s injuries appeared to have affected his brain or his ability to speak.
The show, which had a longtime home at the MGM Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, has been shut down in the wake of Friday’s attack, in which a 7-year-old white tiger grabbed Horn by the neck in the middle of a performance, opening an artery in his neck. Horn suffered massive blood loss, followed by a stroke.
The mauling has drawn a flood of support and sympathy from fans and friends, including such bold-faced names as Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson and former president George H.W. Bush, an MGM Mirage spokesman tells CNN. He said messages can be sent to Horn through the hotel’s Web site.
Meanwhile, show manager Bernie Yuman tells the news network that the “outpouring of love and prayer” has touched those associated with the show. Horn “is totally aware that he is fighting for his life,” Yuman said.