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Woman finds escaped circus tiger in bathroom

11:59 Tue Apr 23 2013
Sophie Cousins

A US woman's first trip to the circus has been one to remember after she came face-to-face with a tiger on the loose in the bathroom.

The big cat dodged its handlers after a 7pm show at the Isis Shrine Circus at the Salina Bicentennial Centre in Kansas last Saturday and roamed into a nearby bathroom, the Salina Journal reports.

Video shows the cat roaming around the backstage area of the circus, with a handler running after it.

A voice over the loud speaker told the crowd: "Everybody please remain seated."

But while the crowd members were taking happy snaps of the big cat, Salina resident Jenna Krehbiel decided she needed to use the bathroom.

When she walked into a door that hadn't been blocked off, she found the tiger standing half a metre away from her.

"You don't expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you," she said.

"I turned around calmly and walked back toward the door. Someone opened the door and said get out."

The tiger was quickly captured and returned to its cage.

Ms Krehbiel said she didn't scream because the social worker is trained to stay calm.

"I'm always on alert, and it was easy to walk out," she said.

"Looking back, it was a scary ordeal.

"At the time, I was thinking I just needed to get out."

Ms Krehbiel said next time she would probably head to the zoo instead.