Washington: A fun trip to a local circus turned into a nightmare for a US woman who came face-to-face with an escaped tiger while accompanying her three-year-old daughter to the washroom.
Jenna Krehbiel from central Kansas went to the bathroom with her daughter after finishing watching the large cat show at the Isis Shrine Circus.
As she closed the door behind her, she was shocked to see a tiger standing less than a metre away, `Salina.Com` reported.
Krehbiel said the tiger "wasn`t the biggest one" performing, but she estimated it was more than 113 kg.
The tiger had escaped from the circus after its turn in the ring and had wandered into the bathroom. While the staff had launched a search, they were yet to check the toilet, reported.
Krehbiel said she tried to stay calm and that her daughter wasn`t bothered by the presence of the creature.
"It was the closest I have ever been to a tiger not in a cage. You don`t expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking towards you," Krehbiel said.
"My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands. That was her only concern. I think that shows the thoughts of children and that they wouldn`t have known there was danger," Krehbiel said.
Although the tiger was captured within minutes and returned to its enclosure, Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Centre, said he is glad nobody was hurt.
"Overall, it was a scary, surreal moment. I`m glad no one was hurt or injured," Bird said.
Krehbiel said she has been asked why she didn`t scream or run. She attributed that to her training as a social worker.
"I`m always on alert, and it was easy to walk out, that`s how I am trained. Looking back, it was a scary ordeal. At the time, I was thinking I just needed to get out," Krehbiel said.