Thursday, April 25, 2013

Surprise Encounters

 In South Carolina, a 12-foot alligator trapped a South Carolina couple in their home for five hours:
Diana Andrews opened the front door of the Hilton Head Island home she shares with her husband, Arthur, around 5:30 a.m. Saturday to take the couple's Scottish Terrier for a walk. Instead, she found herself face-to-snout with an alligator.

"I was in bed and heard her open the door and then scream and then heard the door slam," Arthur Andrews told "I went running out and looked outside."

"The dog couldn't have been two feet from the gator's mouth when my wife grabbed him by his tail and pulled him back into the house, so she had to get that close too," he said.
A security officer's attempts to help merely angered the critter, so the couple waited two hours for trappers to arrive - and even these jaded professionals were impressed: 
Believing that Andrews' over-the-phone description of the gator as "about 10 feet" would be a typical situation, in which the gator is actually about two feet but the homeowner is scared, the company only sent one man, Joe Maffo, to chase the gator away.

"When he saw it, he said there was no way," Andrews recalled, adding that Maffo estimated the gator to weigh about 1,000 pounds.
-In Kansas, a woman at the circus had an unexpected encounter in the restroom with one of the performers:
"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."

Krehbiel said the tiger "wasn't the biggest one" performing, but she estimated it was more than 250 pounds.

"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.
Fortunately, no one was hurt, but this seems lucky, given the attitude of the tiger's management, who seemed to have no more sense than a toddler:
Krehbiel said her husband talked with a person from the circus who told him the animals are well trained and there was no risk. She said he told them the tiger is a wild animal.

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."

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