Roy Horn has paid tribute to his recently deceased pet Tiger, Mantecore, who many will remember for hitting headlines in 2003 after he attacked the celebrity illusionist during one of the famed Siegfried And Roy shows in Las Vegas. The 69 year-old performer has always insisted that the tiger attack, which inflicted life-threatening injuries upon him, was an accident.

Roy Horn
Roy Horn Mourns The Death Of Mantacore, The Tiger Who Left Him Severely Injured.

"It is with great sorrow that I am writing you this note today that on March 19, 2014 in the early afternoon our beloved 17 year old White Tiger Friend and Brother, "Mantecore" left us and is now with his siblings in White Tiger heaven," wrote Horn, who gave no details as to how Mantecore passed away.

In his tribute, Horn didn't refer to the 2003 attack, which left him temporarily paralysed, and rather spoke about another incident where he believes the white tiger saved his life: "My lifesaver, "Mantecore", who was the one responsible for pulling me to safety where the Paramedics could help me after my high blood pressure made me dizzy on stage. He is greatly missed, however, I have my memories and I know that now he is playing with his brother and sister," said Horn.

Siegfried Fischbacher Roy Horn
Siegfried & Roy Have Always Maintained That The Attack Was An Accident.

The Facebook post details how Roy nursed the weakest of three cub siblings and made a home for him in the duo's Jungle Nursery where he was given round the clock care. "I saved his life and then he saved mine, so we were even," said Horn, adding "His contribution to the avalanche of awareness of Conservation and Preservation as well as countless appearances in our Show, Television and Movies makes him unforgettable."

"I feel like a part of me is gone," Roy mourned, adding "Farewell my dear friend...know that your image is forever burned into my heart." The 380 pound tiger leapt on the performer and grabbed him by the throat during Siegfried & Roy performance at the Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas in 2003. Horn and partner Siegfried Fischbacher, 74, have maintained that Mantecore sensed Horn was having a mini-stroke and was dragging him to safety, rather than attacking him, though animal experts have doubted this theory.

Siegfried Roy Tigers
The Incident Hasn't Stopped The Illusionists From Keeping Tigers, Leopards & Lions.

Roy, born Uwe Ludwig Horn, was told he would never walk, talk or perform at the duo's smash-hit shows again, but defied all odds to make a remarkable recovery after having part of his brain cut away, suffering a crushed windpipe and being partially paralyzed. Describing himself as a "little bit handicapped," Roy has insisted that the injuries have not impaired his quality of life: "I can do a lot of things. I can walk, I can go swimming, I can go to the gym, I can go shopping," he told a magazine last year, according to The Daily Mail.

More: Siegfried & Roy refused to hand over footage of the tiger attack to officials - find out why.

More: A piece of Roy Horn's skull was kept in his stomach - read the gruesome details of the tiger attack here.