Las Vegas star critical after tiger attack

 

Roy Horn, one half of the illusionist team Siegfried & Roy, remains critically ill after a tiger mauled him during a show in Las Vegas, biting him and dragging him off stage.

Horn underwent surgery on after suffering an injury to the left side of his neck.

He was on a ventilator late and heavily medicated but able to respond to voices and touch, said MGM Mirage Resort CEO Bobby Baldwin.

"We are guarded, optimistic," Mr Baldwin said. "We are pleased the news isn't worse than it is."

Hospital officials would not provide any more information, but the mood was sombre among the ost of Las Vegas notables who went to see the magician.

"I'm pretty much on a vigil," said Bernie Yuman, the duo's longtime manager.

Alan Feldman, an MGM Mirage spokesman, said yesterday it will likely take two or three days before the full extent of Horn's injuries is known.

Halfway into Friday night's performance, Horn appeared alone on stage with the tiger and told the crowd the animal was making its debut in the show - a claim hotel officials said was part of the act.

The 600lb tiger lunged at Horn, who tried to beat the animal away with a microphone. Stage crew members used fire extinguishers to distract the animal and free Roy.

The tiger involved in the attack, a seven-year-old male named Montecore, was quarantined at the hotel, officials said. Mr Feldman said the animal had been used in the show for several years.