Monday, March 2, 2009

Was it really Montecore?


Siegfried & Roy's folks have said since Saturday night that the tiger that appeared with the duo was, in fact, Montecore, the same cat that mauled Roy in 2003. There's no real way of knowing and we had to take their word for it when we were writing on deadline.

Yesterday, though, an image of the threesome on stage at Bellagio for the comeback/goodbye appearance was distributed. Here's a close-up blown-up of Montecore:


And here's a photo of Montecore in earlier years:


It's really hard to tell, but I can't imagine any two tigers have identical markings. So the trick would be to compare the images to determine if the markings were the same. The older image -- the only one I could find that clearly stated it was Montecore and had a close-up facial shot -- is very difficult to compare to the side view in the image distributed to the press by Curtis Dahl Photography.

Anyone have any thoughts? See something I don't see? I will be watching the "20/20" report on Friday with great interest to see if there are any clues behind the scenes. Of course, since the video of the actual tiger attack was suppressed by MGM Mirage and the USDA's investigators, there's still no way to know because ABC could be shown any big tiger and told that this was the same one.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

really really hard to tell. the angles, the lighting... very difficult.

Anonymous said...

Well, the tiger didn't attack Roy, did it? So, either it's not Montecore, or it is Montecore and that tiger got really lazy over the past five years. Attack, Montecore, attack! That would make this a farewell performance we could all get behind!

DavidF. said...

I have been following your coverage of the “Final performance” - and the moment I read that Montecore was used my first thought was, “Yeah and they also said on the Fateful night of their last show at the Mirage that it was Montecore’s very first time on stage”. I am very skeptical about it, glad that someone is trying to follow up about this.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a different cat. Even at an angle, you can tell the markings are different (look closely, it only takes a minute). The tigers look like different colors altogether, besides the markings -- Montecor is pure white, this other cat is beige-ish. A really dumb publicity ploy, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

To say nothing of creepy ...

David McKee

Anonymous said...

Obviously different cat, stand ins that were masked, all around a magic trick. But who cares a that is what they do. It made the two guys feel like they had closure. I'm all for that. Good luck to S & R, may the next few years be alot less drama and more good times.

THE STRIP PODCAST said...

Anon: My column in this week's LVW is along those lines, but I also think there are reasons why it does matter, as I will explain in the forthcoming piece.

Anonymous said...

Why would it matter if their forte is magic? I mean isn't that what all of these so called magicians sell? So they pulled a good one, so be it. That really wasn't what that moment was all about anyway. It was exactly what you wrote in your post today or yesterday. An ending for two people surrounded by those that care. In contrast, Criss Angel's BeLIEve is harder to stomach than what S & R did by light years. I wish the press didn't feel the need to be so revealing in situations like this. Leave them alone, they've gone through enough. And thank you Steve, for being one of the ones that understands that. Great work. Keep it up.

THE STRIP PODCAST said...

Last Anon: Thank you for the nice words, but I actually DO believe it is consequential that there are so many lies surrounding all of this. The reason why S&R were successful was because it wasn't ALL magical manipulation. The white tigers and their ability to manage them wasn't fake. That's what gave the show its heart, what elevated it from being just another magic show. The fact that their people cannot tell the truth about what actually happened on stage that night even though a man's life was almost lost means they are breaking their deal with the public and the audience. And all the lies are the reason why there's so much suspicion now. Their explanations make no sense and because of that, they've been robbed of their chance to go out in a dignified manner. I care and it matters BECAUSE I believe they deserved better. It's too easy to say, "well, they were illusionists, they can lie to the public and it's just part of the deal." but there's a time to do tricks and there's a time for honesty. The night would have been just as emotional had it been any of their tigers. They wanted to have one more manipulation of the public and one more half-truth for the media. It's disgraceful, really.

Now, that said, we don't know for sure if it was or wasn't Montecore. I'll be watching 20/20 tomorrow night carefully to see if there's any way to know.