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Price keeps rising for high wire act

Wed., June 13, 2012

Walking a high wire over Niagara Falls isn’t only a dicey proposition, it turns out it’s pretty pricey, too.

Daredevil Nik Wallenda estimates his history-making, U.S.-to-Canada walk by way of a cable strung over the brink will cost about $1.2 million to $1.3 million. That includes fabrication and installation of the custom-made steel wire, permits and security on both sides of the border, travel and marketing.

A deal with ABC to televise the event live during prime time Friday will offset some of his expenses, the 33-year-old Wallenda said. “But definitely not anywhere near all of it.”

And the tab seems to grow by the day.

There hasn’t been much time to line up sponsors – the date of the walk was settled only about six weeks ago – so Wallenda is asking the public for donations.

By midday Tuesday, his video on the fundraising website Indiegogo had raised more than $15,300 toward a $50,000 goal.

Wallenda plans to walk 1,800 feet across the falls at 200 feet above the gorge bottom.

Television host and animal advocate Bob Barker has donated about $200,000 to a monkey sanctuary to give five California research monkeys a retirement home.

The gift from the former “Price Is Right” host will send five monkeys, which otherwise likely would have been euthanized, to Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary in Oklahoma sometime in late summer or early fall, the sanctuary announced Tuesday.

“Obviously these monkeys are compromised socially because they’ve been in little tiny boxes for years, generally,” said Bob Ingersoll, president of the Mindy’s Memory board of directors. “We’re trying to get these five particular monkeys to know each other so that they have worked out their differences before they get to us.”

“To be monkeys,” he said, “you have to be around monkeys.”

The birthday bunch

Artist Christo is 77. Magician Siegfried (Siegfried & Roy) is 73. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is 68. Actor Richard Thomas is 61. Actor Stellan Skarsgard is 61. Comedian Tim Allen is 59. Actress Ally Sheedy is 50. Actresses Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen are 26.


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