A day out at the zoo turned into a nightmare for one mum when her toddler came eye-to-eye with a tiger which had escaped from its enclosure.
The 230g Bengal tiger managed to jump over a 12ft fence and apparently roamed freely around Jungle Island Zoo, Miami, for about 20 minutes.
Mother Diana Barrett said she walked around a corner to find little Dianita face to face with the tiger.
She told MSNBC news: '... the tiger was very calm and I didn't want to make it anxious at all so I took a few steps towards her [Dianita], picked her up, and walked in the other direction.
The zoo said it believed that a gibbon was the cause of the scare. It too had escaped from its cage and apparently antagonised the tiger, which in turn leapt over the fence of its enclosure.
The tiger's escape is being seen as a freak accident, but the zoo may face hundreds of dollars in fines over the incident.
Mum Diana says she will not be renewing her family's annual pass to the zoo.