Siegfried Speaks About Mauled Partner

ByABC News via logo
February 4, 2009, 7:22 PM

Oct. 8, 2003 — -- Las Vegas entertainer Roy Horn, who has been hospitalized after being attacked by a tiger during a performance, will perform with big cats again, his longtime stage partner told ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer today.

Asked how he would feel being on stage with a big cat again, Siegfried Fischbacher, the other half of the pair known as Siegfried and Roy, said, "I will be. I will be because this is my family, and Roy will be."

Fischbacher, a German native, continued in broken English: "This is our life. If I wouldn't do this, life would be meant nothing. But the life what we lived would meant nothing."

Roy remains in critical condition, but is stable. In the interview, for Thursday morning's Good Morning America, Fischbacher said he is confident his partner will pull through.

"I know Roy all of these years. He always surprises us. Roy always comes through because I think Roy, he is the strongest man ever lived anyway. He has the strength like a tiger, you know."

Fischbacher said he communicates with Horn by holding hands and squeezing. "One time is yes and two times is no. I can see his eyes, and he is following me, and he smiles and he's positive."

The Darkest Day

On Friday night, Horn brought 7-year-old Montecore a white tiger who has appeared in the show since he was 6 months old on stage, and then told the tiger to lie down.

"It was the darkest day of my life," Fischbacher said.

Montecore didn't listen to Horn's instructions. Instead, he grabbed Horn's arm in his mouth. Horn struck Montecore with his microphone, trying to get him to loosen his grip.

Montecore then grabbed Horn by his throat, dragging him backstage where handlers subdued the tiger by spraying him with a fire extinguisher.

"It happened so fast," Fischbacher said. "I was standing on the side, and it things happened, what we did, we did a thousand, a million times, the same thing. And this time something happens, and it went so fast, I even can't explain it."

Fischbacher said what happened may not be fully understood until Horn recovers.