A false wall in the rear of the cage hides the tiger from view. The curtain used to cover the cage is already hanging over the rear of the cage, so the audience can't see through the cage, thus the bars of the cage can be painted onto the false wall to make it appear that the audience are seeing the bars of the back of the cage, and the curtain behind it. With the right lighting the illusion looks complete.
The girl is hidden in the black base of the cage, concealed from view because of an optical illusion (the base is black and the cage is a bright chrome. When the cloth is placed around the cage, the girl lifts up a trap door in the base of the cage, climbs in, and pulls a lever to drop the false wall down into place. This allows the tiger to come out into the middle of the cage, using the full space.
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