It could be weeks before we know whether magician Roy Horn will fully recover from last week's tiger attack during the "Siegfried & Roy" show on the Las Vegas strip.
And it will be even longer before we'll know what happens to the long-time magic act. But Horn's partner Siegfried Fischbacher says that, whatever happens, the partners will work together.
"When we started this 44 years ago, we started this together," he told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "And we have to finish this up. Maybe - I'm sure - it will be a different pet, but I know we're going to finish this up together."
Doctors say it's "all but miraculous" Horn even survived. Fischbacher, 64, said Horn still can't talk but is communicating through hand signals: one gesture for "yes," two for "no."
It was the first time that Fischbacher talked to the American media since Horn, 59, was attacked Friday before a sellout performance of 1,500. He gave an interview to the German daily Bild that was published Tuesday.
The following is a transcript of his interview with Smith:
Harry Smith: How is Roy?
Siegfried: Roy is still the magic. I'm only the magician.
Smith: Is he able to speak at all?
Siegfried: Not yet. But we take it now hour by hour, day by day.
Smith: When you were onstage last Friday night, when did you know something was going wrong?
Siegfried: I know when Roy tripped, and was on the knees. It was an accident.
Smith: You don't think it was a hostile act on the part of the cat?
Siegfried: No, no, no, not at all!
Smith: You have done more than 5,000 shows at the Mirage. You have done more than 30,000 shows together. You see your partner in trouble. What's going on in your heart, what's going on in your mind?
Siegfried: You know, try to help, try to do, do my best.
Smith: The fire extinguishers come out. The cat releases....
Siegfried: That's right, it released already -- before."
Smith: When you saw him then, hurt, in trouble, what did you feel?
Siegfried: Well, I felt, my God, I felt sad. I was not mean, angry, but I felt sad, because I thought, "Oh my God, it can't be."
It was all in a split second. And it was so fast; it was so fast, even the audience didn't realize what was going on. Even the audience thought, some part of the audience, they thought, it was part of the show.
Smith: Did Roy say don't kill the cat?
Siegfried: Yes. Don't harm the cat. That was his last words. And so that tells me he knew exactly the cat didn't want to harm.
Smith: You know, the rumor that's going around is that you're going to bring the show back.
Siegfried: You know, at the moment, I try to bring Roy back.
When we started this 44 years ago, we started this together. And we have to finish this up. Maybe - I'm sure - it will be a different pet, but I know we're going to finish this up together.
Smith: What is it like for you to know there are so many people across the country and across the world that are so concerned.
Siegfried: It's, it's unbelievable, (emotional) you know, I always say, 'Oh God, this is bigger than Siegfried and Roy."
Smith: "Roy knows about this emotional outpouring. Do you think.. does he feel it?"
Siegfried: He knows it. He knows, oh God, he knows the whole thing. I see it in his eyes, and of course I tell him.
And I know everything going to be alright (cries). Thank you.
Smith: I hope that's true.
Siegfried: I know, it's going to be.
And the dream is not finished yet.
Smith: You are loved and cared about by a lot of people.
Siegfried: I know.
Smith: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and our audience.
Siegfried: Thank you.
While at some point in the future, Siegfried & Roy may perform again, the Las Vegas show has been cancelled indefinitely.
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