On February 28, Siegfried and Roy made a brief farewell appearance at the Power of Love gala held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, sharing the stage with Montecore, the white Bengal tiger who mauled Roy and ended all their show biz careers. They are being featured tonight in a one-hour special on ABC’s 20/20.
The money they raised will go to the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, a new facility that will treat many neurological disorders, including whatever Horn suffered after Montecore grabbed him by the throat and dragged him off after they had performed together in 2003.
The cat-loving entertainers have maintained that Montecore was only trying to protect Roy because he detected that Roy had suffered a mini-stroke. That’s never been proven one way or the other because tigers don’t maul and tell. I’m just glad nobody whipped out a gun and shot Montecore on the spot without at least asking some questions.
At the gala, Roy walked onto the stage in a cape and mask but Siegfried carried the show, standing in a giant cage to perform an illusion where he reappeared across the stage and was replaced in the cage by Montecore.
Their performance lasted only about 10 minutes, but was a huge deal in Vegas, complete with a Hollywood-style red carpet, and attended by such notables as chef Wolfgang Puck.
In my research, I found a strange little Web site that popped up after Roy’s accident, devoted to freeing Montecore from his Vegas lifestyle. Proceeds from the sale of T-shirts supposedly go to the Tiger Conservation Programmes of Bhutan, Nepal, and India. Check it out.