World-acclaimed illusionist Roy Horn went to work on Friday evening, October 3, 2003, amid a celebrative atmosphere. For one thing it was his 59th birthday, and more than a thousand friends had thrown him a party hours before. For another, an audience of fifteen hundred people waited excitedly inside the Mirage Hotel for a show Horn and his fellow illusionist were about to put on. Since the late sixties Siegfried Fischbach and Roy Horn's high energy performances with wild animals had earned them such an international reputation they were known simply by their first names—Siegfried and Roy. About halfway into the performance, Horn appeared in the spotlight with a six-year-old white male tiger. It was a routine he had done hundreds of times. But for some unexplained reason, Horn slipped on stage. His loss of footing startled the 600 pound animal, who proceeded to lunge at Horn. In self-defense, the illusionist attempted to beat the animal off with his hand-held microphone. The audience gasped as the tiger grabbed Horn by the neck, and dragged him offstage like a limp rag doll. At that point, stage-crew members used fire extinguishers to distract the animal and free Roy. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to save his life. In thousands of performances over 35 years, Horn had successfully evaded the dangers of his trade. But in an unexpected loss of balance, a career (and nearly a life) was lost. A few nights after the tragic accident, Larry King interviewed Horn's partner. As Siegfried Fischbach attempted to explain what went wrong, two little words stood out as the primary cause. "Roy slipped." The apostle Paul warns those of us who think we can't be taken down by the "tigers" in our lives, "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall."

source: Citation: KOMO 4 News (10-3-03) and Associated Press (10-10-03) submitted by: Greg Asimakoupoulos, Naperville, Illinois tags: Mistake, Temptation