Siegfried & Roy’s Final Big Cats Leave Las Vegas Strip
The last few exotic cats that once graced the Las Vegas Strip at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden at The Mirage have found new homes.
There are now no big cats performing, appearing, or living on the Strip, marking the end of a near 50-year run of such performances.
The Mirage, owned by Hard Rock International, announced that the animals have been relocated to two sanctuaries, located in Texas and Oregon.
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, better known by their duo stage name, were among the most famous performers in Las Vegas for more than 30 years.
Tigers and other exotic big cats were often a big part of their stage shows in the ’80s and ’90s. That was up until 2003, when the pair’s white tiger, Manticore, savagely attacked Roy during a live stage performance.
A Careful Selection Process
The Mirage says it took great care in selecting the sanctuaries that would house these majestic creatures, some of which have been on the Strip for more than two decades.
Approximately a dozen big cats were moved to the two sanctuaries, although the exact types of cats relocated were not specified.
The chosen facilities, WildCat Ridge Sanctuary in Scotts Mills, Oregon, and In-Sync Exotics in Wylie, Texas, were recognized for their ability to provide the same quality of care that the animals received at The Secret Garden.
Vicky Keahey, founder and executive director of In-Sync Exotics, expressed her honor at being selected to care for these amazing animals.
“We look forward to providing them the highest level of care with the utmost respect for their well-being that we pride ourselves in giving our 75 other exotic cats who live with us at In-Sync Exotics,” she said, as reported by Fox5 Las Vegas.
President and cofounder of WildCat Ridge Sanctuary Cheryl Tuller also expressed excitement at welcoming the exotic cats of Siegfried & Roy to their animal family.
“We believe every cat at our sanctuary deserves the best possible safe, peaceful, and nurturing environment we can provide. Our goal is to give our magnificent animal family the ability to thrive and live out their lives with dignity and respect,” she said.
Siegfried & Roy’s Legacy in Changing Times
Siegfried & Roy left their animals behind when they died within a year of each other in 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Their Secret Garden at the Mirage event space was closed by The Mirage’s latest owners, Hard Rock International, in 2021. It promised to relocate all the animals enclosed there, and with the departure of the final big cats it has now done so.
Meanwhile Siegfried & Roy’s iconic Las Vegas mansion, Jungle Palace, sold for $3 million earlier this month.
The property housed multiple animal enclosures, including a bird and cat sanctuary, and was adorned with big cat-inspired artwork throughout.
The relocation of the cats marks a new chapter and illustrates the changing nature of entertainment on the Las Vegas strip.
While many still remember the previous era fondly, public perception of captive animal-based shows on the Strip is not what it was.
“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,” said David Perle, spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said.
Now that the most iconic animals on the Strip have left the building, it’s unlikely such shows will return in the future.