Dolphins & Such

Earlier this week, I was going through stacks of boxes from my childhood (everyone has done this at least once on their birthday so stop judging) when I stumbled upon a blue dolphin stuffy shoved inside a large Ziploc bag, it was from my best friend when I was 13/14 years old. And that’s how I lead into the Siegfried & Roy Secret Garden at the Mirage Las Vegas (they have dolphins their okay, that’s the connection with the story). The sanctuary was built for education, public awareness and when the show was still open, to house the endangered animals they used in the show. It was said that Siegfried himself had an apartment within the compound so he could be closer to the animals.

Siegfried  Fischbacher and Roy Horn are German American exhibitionists who are best known for their wild animal and magic spectacle at the Mirage Las Vegas. After moving their show from a German cruise line to the Las Vegas stage in 1967, a record breaking 5 year, $57 million contract was presented to them by Steve Wynn to start a “Broadway-meets-Barnum & Bailey extravaganza” at his then under construction hotel – the Mirage. Breaking off from the usual crooner & topless dancer acts that graced the stages of Las Vegas, Seigfried & Roy would incorporate both their skills in illusion and animal manipulation.

On the night of October 3, 2003, Siegfried and Roy’s reign over the Las Vegas entertainment industry came to an end after an incident inflicting one of Roy’s albino tigers, Montecore. It was 45 minutes into the show when something (terrorist) or someone (beehive hair lady) from the audience took Montecore’s attention, leading him to break his routine. Since there were no barriers between the audience and the stage Roy quickly jumped in front of the tiger and ordered him to lie down. Unfortunately the tiger did not stand down and at one point was able to grip Roy’s right wrist with his jaw. While struggling to grab Montecore’s leash and getting his hand free, Roy suddenly fell over and in a flash had the tiger on top of him, gripping him on the neck and dragging him off stage. Later Siegfried explained the tigers intention was to keep Roy away from whatever was in the audience (Beehive hair lady or Terrorist or Both?!) (I bet that lady had a steak on her hair) and picked him up like a mother would with her cub.I know it took me forever to finish this new feature but in my defense a few people have been hating on me and it dampened my spirit a little bit, so for my 1,700 “party peaps” out there, YOU GUYS RULE! Thank you for following! If you haven’t done so, then do it right now and follow me! -Lago 🙂


82 thoughts on “Dolphins & Such

  1. Iamrcc

    The dolphins are nice, but what I really like is the bubbles created at the top of the water by the dolphins. There is something a little magical about that. Thanks for visiting and the like of my post “Bird in Flight”.


  2. Catherine Valentine

    The pictures are wonderful, thanks for sharing. I had seen the Siegfried and Roy show several times and visited their tiger exhibit in Las Vegas. Both were a high point of my visits. Thanks for the reminder of something lost but something found.


  3. arisfael

    Love the post! It’s an awesome feeling when you rediscover your childhood all over with a keepsake box then feel inspired by it. Dolphins are such precious intelligent creatures and need to be taken care of! I always meant to drop by.


  4. Argus

    People are hating you? Does it matter a damn?

    There’s only one opinion of you in the whole wide world that matters a hoot … and that one is yours. be yourself … and love those dolphins!


  5. wallcat

    Got to always be cautious with animals and respect them. People can work with animals for years and not run into any problems but then suddenly they’ll find themselves in a dangerous situation which has happened many times (I saw on the news a while back that a trainer had been attacked by a Killer Whale, and there’s also the bear guy that got killed.) It’s not really the animals fault though, as I feel that we all have a tendency to project onto them our own sense of humanity and being. We give them names, personalities and often talk to them like people (I do so with my cat.) Captivity isn’t a normal environment for an animal though, and especially with the unpredictability of audience members it doesn’t surprise me that they could become startled and act differently to what we expect of them. When I see people getting too close to large animals (even hugging them) it makes me cringe because I get the feeling that one day they’ll catch that animal in an agitated state and won’t be so lucky. The truth is they don’t think and act like us. Also when animals are playing or protecting they don’t always realise that humans are more delicate than other members of their species.

    Interesting article and I love the photographs. I’m a huge animal lover myself; dolphins and tigers are amazing.


  6. mramgemini6

    “That tiger didn’t go crazy, that tiger went tiger!” — Chris Rock. Yes, I’ve heard of the excuse that the tiger was just trying to save his owner by grabbing him like a cub and dragging him away. It’s possible that’s what happened. But one thing is for sure: if you play with fire long enough, you’re going to get burned. Just don’t be surprised when you do get burned.


      • mramgemini6

        Did you see that footage on youtube that was posted a while back (got tons of hits) where a tiger that was being hunted by civilians and police — I think in India — charged at one of the men, who was on an elephant; and severely injured one of the people. This tiger leaped maybe 10-15 feet from the tall grasses to get at his victim. I think the NY Knicks should sign that tiger to be their new Forward!


  7. anonanurse

    I love dolphins. I had wanted to be a marine biologist as a child. I remember watching Siegfried and Roy as a child, when their specials were on network television. I remember Montecore especially, and that he was their favorite and would sleep on Roy’s bed. I was shocked when this happened. One thing that has always puzzled me was that Roy didn’t die. When tigers want to hurt or kill you, there is no chance you are walking away or survive, and yet he did.


    • Lago

      I think he was just trying to pull him away from whatever was in the audience. I mean he was a big one, he would’ve killed him in an instant.


  8. unsouthernbelle

    Does that mean that one day my kids will claim their possessions from the attic and that it will inspire them to write an interesting blog piece about Vegas? I hope so because I enjoyed this . Especially the segue.


  9. elichap

    Dolphins are just precious! Had the pleasure of swimming with them when I was younger off the coast of Florida. If you haven’t seen the movie “Dolphin Tale”…an awesome movie, with a plus being a true story makes it even better. Take care and have a great day!


  10. HeWritesOnePageADay

    If you love dolphins, you need to watch The Cove. It’s a documentary showcasing the Japanese dolphin massacres and how they got caught doing it. Very graphic and informative film, if you have a strong stomach give it a watch.


  11. susielindau

    That is so great! I have my “bag” of memories too!
    Just a tip, WordPress only allows up to 15 total tags and categories or you won’t show up in your follower’s “readers.”


    • Lago

      I can’t think of anything to make you feel better but I did get a box for Christmas when I was younger. I thought there would be something amazing inside since the box looked so cool, but my brother gave me a straight up mickey mouse box.


    • Lago

      I know! Did you see that one show about mermaids and dolphins being hunt buddies in the ocean? It was horrifying but I still watched through the whole thing.


  12. travelingmarla

    Wow, was it almost 10 years ago now? Really took me back. I was living in Pennsylvania and my first thought, before I heard anything else, was that the tiger’s intent was to protect him. He was, after all, family to them. Nice post. Thanks for sharing those memories.


    • Lago

      Thank you! In my opinion, the tiger was just trying to protect Roy from whoever was crazy enough to stand out in a show where wild animals are involved. I’m still betting on the steak haired lady though.



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