By Ollie Gillman
Tigers jumping through flames, horses rearing elegantly and elephants standing on their hind legs - animals have played a large role in Mexican circuses for generations.
But not for much longer, with Mexico's government banning the use of animals in performances last month.
Lawmakers in the Latin American country have given acts a year to adapt to the law, so the animal shows will go on for the time being - as these incredible pictures show.
These images, taken at a circus in Mexico City, show just how large a part animals play in Mexican performances.
Tigers are seen jumping through fiery rings and dancing with matadors, all to the applause of the audience.
Meanwhile elephants and horses are both seen rearing on their hind legs, as animals perform alongside Mexicans in a tradition that dates back more than 200 years.
But animal rights activists say the creatures are mistreated, leading them to celebrate the incoming change in the law.
However, performers dispute this, saying the creatures are born and raised in the circuses they perform in and do not know another way of life.
Armando Cedeno, president of the Mexican circus association, said 50,000 circus employees could lose their jobs, and as many as 3,500 would be affected by the changes.
He said: 'It is impossible to take these animals back to their natural habitat, because they would die.'
Circus performers took to the streets of Mexico City to protest against the law, holding public shows without animals to highlight what performances will look like this time next year.
The animals are well fed, cleaned and cared for, the performers claim.
Any circuses found to be flouting the ban could be fined up to $70,000 and animals will be seized.
The ban is the latest in a wave of animal rights legislation passed in Latin American countries.
Six Mexican states have already banned the use of animals in the circus, as do South American countries, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Colombia.
Bullfighting is still legal in most countries, but some campaigners have called for it to end in Mexico.
Parts of Ecuador do not allow the final killing of the bull to take place in front of an audience. Photos.