Salina, Kansas – local resident Jenna Krehbiel has quite the “tail” to tell after her visit to Shriner’s circus event. Krehbiel was in need of a “nature call” and strolled into the women’s bathroom, and as the door closed behind her, there stood a tiger.
‘You don’t expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you,’ Krehbiel said.
Unbeknownst to Krehbiel, the feline had escaped during an interlude in its routine and made its way to the bathroom. By the time Krehbiel had noticed the man-eater, it was moving in her direction. The bathroom was narrow and 25 feet in length.
Krehbiel is a social worker and has encountered many difficult and unexpected situations in her line of work.
She explained this enabled her to remain calm and move opposite the tiger. Shortly thereafter, the circus trainers were able capture the animal and return it to its cage. Krehbiel then recounted for her 3-year-old daughter the harrowing experience and was surprised at the young girl’s reaction: hygiene concerns.
The little girl was concerned the tiger might have contracted something nasty from being barefoot in a public bathroom. She asked her mother if she had taken the time to wash the tiger’s paws.
‘My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands,’ Krehbiel said. ‘That was her only concern. I think that shows the thoughts of children and that they wouldn’t have known there was danger.’
The facilities manager expressed relief that no one was injured as a result of the tiger’s escape.
Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said the bathroom was only 8m long.
“Once she saw the tiger, I’m sure she knew to go the other way,” Bird said. “Overall, it was a scary, surreal moment. I am glad no one was hurt or injured.”
Kansas woman comes face to face with escaped circus tiger during trip to bathroom
Woman meets circus tiger in bathroom