Posted on: July 3, 2023, 04:24h.
Last updated on: July 4, 2023, 12:24h.
The last surviving white tigers and lions owned by magicians Siegfried & Roy have departed from Las Vegas. This means that for the first time since 1967, the Strip no longer features any exotic cats appearing, performing, or residing there.
The animals have been relocated from The Mirage, where they had been living, at least partially, at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden for the past 30 years, to two animal sanctuaries. The Mirage released a statement announcing WildCat Ridge Sanctuary in Scotts Mills, Ore., and In-Sync Exotics in Wylie, Tex. as the chosen sanctuaries after a thorough search process.
The Mirage did not disclose the number or specific types of cats relocated to each sanctuary.
“The chosen facilities for the cats’ permanent homes have demonstrated the ability to provide the same level of care and attention to Siegfried & Roy’s animal family as they have received at The Secret Garden,” stated the press release.
According to The Mirage, both sanctuaries have extensive experience and knowledgeable animal care teams that provide a peaceful home for a variety of wildcats, ensuring the long-term care of these exotic cats.
Now They’ve Disappeared for Real
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn introduced white lions and tigers to the Strip in 1967. It is fitting that their big cats were the last to leave. The absence of big-cat shows on The Strip reflects changing public attitudes towards the exploitation of animals raised in captivity.
Once considered an acceptable way to educate about wildlife and conservation, big cat shows and zoos are now seen differently.
The 2003 incident where Roy Horn was attacked by his white tiger, Mantacore, during their magic show served as a turning point, prompting a reevaluation of the practice.
Horn passed away from complications of COVID-19 in 2020, while Fischbacher died from pancreatic cancer the following year.
The Mirage, now owned by Hard Rock International, permanently closed Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden last year and announced the relocation of all the animals.
The departure of the exotic cats follows the earlier departure of the last three dolphins from the property in May, who were moved to CoralWorld Ocean Park’s Sea Sanctuary at Water Bay in St. Thomas.
Following today’s news of the relocation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent an email response to Casino.org.
“Champagne corks are popping at PETA,” said spokesperson David Perle. Debbie Metzler, the organization’s director of captive animal welfare, added: “Kind tourists today won’t go anywhere near cruel and archaic animal acts like those from Siegfried & Roy, and these dangerous spectacles have all but done a disappearing act from the Strip.”