The moment a tiger escaped from circus act and then came face-to-face

A grainy cell phone video has captured the moment a tiger escaped her circus handlers and made a break for the door.

Leah the tiger was performing at the Isis Shrine Circus in Salina, Kansas, on Saturday when she suddenly dashed off the podium and sprinted out of the arena.

The full-grown tiger then wandered into the women's bathroom at the BiCentennial Center, where a frightened woman who had gotten out of her seat to use the toilet minutes earlier found herself face-to-face with the deadly jungle cat.

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Making a getaway: Leah the tiger suddenly bolted away from her handlers during a circus show on Saturday

On the loose: The tiger sprinted out of the arena and into the hallway as the announcer urged the audience to stay calm and remain in their seats

Face to face: Jenna Krehbie walked into the bathroom outside the circus and suddenly discovered herself two feet from the jungle cat

Jenna Krehbiel managed to walk in the one bathroom door that circus trainers hadn't blocked off as they tried to corral the tiger.

When she stepped inside, he found a tiger standing about 2 feet away, The Salina Journal reported.

The big cat had escaped briefly after its turn in the ring and had wandered into the bathroom while staff hunting for the beast blocked off concourses at the Bicentennial Center.

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

Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said the bathroom was only 25 feet long.

Video: Leah the tiger runs away from the circus

Kansas woman finds escaped circus tiger in bathroom

'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.'

The tiger was captured within minutes and returned to its enclosure.

Krehbiel, a social worker, said she didn't scream or run because she is trained to stay calm.

'Looking back, it was a scary ordeal,' she said. 'At the time, I was thinking I just needed to get out.'

Krehbiel said her 3-year-old daughter had a different reaction.

'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.'

Close quarters: This is the bathroom where Mrs Krehbiel met the tiger. She said she simply turned around and calmly walked out

Similar scene: In "The Hangover" Zach Galifianakis winds up in a bathroom with a tiger