After escaping from the circus, a white tiger alarmed picnickers and motorists Saturday on what for him apparently was a calm, half-mile stroll through an unfamiliar urban jungle.

The animal, named Apollo, was safely recaptured in the Queens section of the city -- but not before the sight of him on the Jackie Robinson Parkway caused a multi-car accident. Four adults and one child suffered minor injuries.

When the tiger lay down on a nearby street, six police officers with guns drawn created a perimeter around it, Capt. John Durkin said. The tiger's trainer arrived and coaxed him back into his cage.

"They did some type of signal, and the tiger jumped into the cage," Durkin said.

The 7-year-old, 450-pound tiger is part of the Cole Bros. Circus that was performing in Forest Park.

The cat was being transferred from a small cage to a larger one when the two enclosures separated, creating an opening big enough for him to get out, police and parks officials said.

Durkin said police followed the animal for about a half-mile from the park to a residential street near the parkway. The tiger had apparently strolled through some streets and stepped onto the parkway before settling in on the street where the police found him, police said.

Durkin said authorities were investigating whether the Florida-based circus would face charges.