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The official story from Horn and partner Siegfried Fischbacher is that Horn suffered a stroke during the act and that the 400-pound tiger lunged at him out of instinct because it was trying to help. Nope, says Lawrence.
Horn had the stroke after the tiger pounced. What’s more, he blames Horn’s own behavior, both on the stage that night and prior, for the attack. Horn, he says, had become less and less hands-on with the animals in the years preceding the attack. The bonding was gone.
“Many of the handlers thought that Roy was treating the cats more like props than he was respecting them for who they were,” he says. “I am positive that Roy’s diminishing relationship with Mantacore was a key factor in the attack.”
On the night of the mauling, Lawrence says Horn made a mistake when the tiger first began misbehaving. “What Roy did was, instead of walking Mantacore in a circle, as is usually done, he just used his arm to steer him right back into his body, in a pirouette motion,” he says. “Mantacore’s face was right in [Horn’s] midsection.
By Roy not following the correct procedure, it fed into confusion and rebellion.” Lawrence says he’s speaking out now because the entertainers plan to put out a biopic soon. Click for the full interview, in which Lawrence recalls how he finally freed Horn from the tiger’s mouth.