Magician Rick Thomas arrives for tiger act
Las Vegas showman Rick Thomas says he’s thrilled to perform in Bermuda with his hand-reared white tiger Kaos.
His show, starting Friday at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel, opens with trained birds, and features dance and illusionist tricks.
Although the tiger has attracted controversy in Bermuda as elsewhere, Mr Thomas said his show would educate people especially children about endangered animals.
He said: “I appreciate the concerns people have about animal welfare, but once you see what I’ve done and my performance record around the world, I think people should praise what I’ve done with tigers.”
Mr Martin said: “Six percent of tigers in the US are in zoos. The other 94 percent are being taken care of by people just like me. If it weren’t for us, we wouldn’t have tigers any more. They’d be extinct. They’d be in history books.”
Asked about objections to the very idea of animals being used in performance, he said: “Are these from people who have pets? If they keep pets, they shouldn’t have any questions about animals performing. My opinion is animals shouldn’t be in captivity, even dogs and cats, but they are. I’ve taken on the responsibility of tigers, and I think that’s a lot of what people freak out over tigers are different from having a dog or a cat in your back yard.”
Adding that it was impossible to please everybody, Mr Thomas said people who still objected to his show should “go and have a nice cup of tea”.
The Magic of Rick Thomas will run from February 26 to March 5.
It has taken Sandys Rotary Club two years to bring to the Island. Chairman of the event, former Sandys Rotary president Edgar Dill, said he had wanted to bring the show to Bermuda ever since seeing Mr Thomas’s show in Las Vegas with his wife.
Mr Dill said: “I was one of the people who went on stage. At the start of the show I thought, Bermuda needs something like this. By the time we got to the end, I knew Bermuda’s children needed to see it.”
The opening gala is this Friday night at the Fairmont Southampton.
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