When Jenna Krehbiel left her seat at the Isis Shrine Circus Saturday she expected to get a break from the animals.
Instead, the Salina, Kan., woman found herself face-to-face with one of the circus’s tigers in, of all places, the bathroom.
“The tiger show had just finished and I thought, ‘Well, this is a good time to head out to the bathroom, before the next show,’” Krehbiel said.
“You don’t expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you,” she told the Salina Journal.
The incident occurred after one of the circus’s female tigers, Leah, ran away from her trainers during the show. The trainers finally cornered Leah in the same bathroom as Krehbiel, just moments later, entered through the door opposite to the one the trainers had shut to keep the tiger trapped inside.
“My first thought was, ‘Okay, I need to be calm, turn around, walk out, you’ll be fine,’” she said. “And that’s what I did.”
Krehbiel says she came within two to three feet of the tiger, which she estimated weighed around 250 pounds. Luckily, she was able to exit the bathroom without a scratch.
Circus officials said the tiger was checked out by a veterinarian and returned to its usual home, behind circus walls.
Krehbiel says she may stick to zoos now, instead of the wilds of the circus. She says it was her 3-year-old daughter, however, who had perhaps the most insightful take on the whole incident.
“My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands,” Krehbiel told the Salina Journal. “That was her only concern.
“I think that shows the thoughts of children and that they wouldn’t have known there was danger,” she said.