LATEST: Las Vegas magician LANCE BURTON is still stunned by his friend ROY HORN's brutal tiger attack - because it happened on his 59th birthday.

Burton had been among those celebrating Horn's 59th birthday on the eve of the big day (02OCT03) and couldn't believe the news when he was told of the mauling after his show on Friday night (03OCT03).

The illusionist dashed to the hospital to check on his friend and spent three hours with Horn's partner SIEGFRIED FISCHBACHER as the German cabaret star fought for his life.

Burton says, "He was the most outgoing and gregarious I've ever seen him at his birthday party. He said, 'I try to ignore my birthday but they won't let me.' He was very happy. I just hope he pulls through."

Horn's partner Siegfried was expected to sit down with chat show king Larry King last night to discuss the tiger attack, his friend's condition and the future of the show, which raked in more than $44 million (GBP27.5 million) for Las Vegas hotel MIRAGE last year (02).

The duo's manager BERNIE YUMAN has confirmed the show will be closed until Christmas at the earliest.

09/10/2003 03:22