Remember that scene from "The Hangover" where a tiger belonging to Mike Tyson is found in the bathroom of a hotel room being used by Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms after a night of partying?
Jenna Krehbiel's first trip to the circus with her family is one she never will forget after she came face to face with a jungle cat in the women's bathroom.
Krehbiel had finished watching the large cat show during the 7 p.m. show at the Isis Shrine Circus on Saturday at the Salina Bicentennial Centennial Center when she decided to step out go to the bathroom but instead got a close-up view of a tiger she had just seen perform in the arena.
"I went in to use the bathroom, and a lady came in to get her daughter out and said there was a tiger loose," Krehbiel said. "I didn't know it was in the bathroom, and I walked in the (open) door, which closed right after I had walked in. I saw the tiger; it was at most two feet in front of me, and I turned around calmly and walked back toward the door. Someone opened the door and said get out."
"It was the closest I have ever been to a tiger not in a cage," Krehbiel said. "You don't expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you."
Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said the tiger escaped during the show, and staff quickly barricaded off the concourse. He said the tiger veered off into an open bathroom and a security guard got people out, shut the door behind the tiger and barricaded the door. Krehbiel went in the opposite door.
Bird said he hadn't heard about Krehbiel's account until contacted by the Journal but confirmed, after talking with circus personnel and security, that it was "definitely accurate," but he doesn't know how close she got to the tiger.
Krehbiel said her 3-year-old had a different view of the event.
"My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands," Krehbiel said. "That was her only concern."