August 25, 2004
LAS VEGAS - The company that produced the Siegfried & Roy magic show has refused to turn over video to federal authorities investigating the tiger attack on illusionist Roy Horn, The Associated Press has learned.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture attempted to obtain video of the show through two recent subpoenas but Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment would not hand over the footage, a USDA source familiar with the case said Tuesday.
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 partially paralyzed and the successful show closed.
USDA spokesman Jim Rogers said Tuesday from Washington D.C., that the probe into the tiger attack remains open and confirmed that the show is under investigation for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
The act allows the USDA to take action against violators and impose fines and suspend or revoke licenses.
Rogers would not discuss USDA's efforts to get the footage or details of the investigation.
Feld Entertainment spokeswoman Shannon Pak declined 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, including false allegations that our company and employees were withholding information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
"Feld Entertainment always cooperates fully with USDA officials and instructs its employees to do the same," he said.