"We came because it's the last day," said a man calling himself Carlos, 39, sitting before the show with his daughter Ximena. "I love the circus. I used to come when I was a kid. It's a great tradition, and soon the animals will be gone."His daughter, 13, disagreed with dad."I like the circus; the animals, the acrobats," Ximena said, looking warily at her father before she continued. "But I think that [the law is] good, because I feel like the animals suffer.""It's more a question of politics," her dad countered. "The majority of animals are treated well. It's too bad that instead of trying to solve the problems, they just get rid of it."
'Bullfighting is extreme. They martyr the animal for fifteen minutes before killing it. That's cruel.'
During the intermission, anticipation grew as the performers, who also doubled as the stagehands, set up a cage around the ring. Without an announcement, the lights dimmed, and the "Domador de los Tigres" or the Tamer of the Tigers, entered leading seven Bengal tigers. He positioned them on platforms with himself in the middle, holding only a whip.Flores paraded around the ring with his whip as the tigers growled at him and the crowd expected a mauling. Instead, he made them jump through rings of fire, while the others waited for their turns, sitting on platforms obediently."Bullfighting is extreme. They martyr the animal for fifteen minutes before killing it. That's cruel," Julio Flores, the tiger tamer, told VICE News backstage after the show. "For them, [bullfighting] is art and tradition, and the circus isn't. In Mexico they see the circus as something very cheap, low class."The tigers that had just performed slept nearby in cages. Light tears came to Julio's eyes when he discussed his connection to the tigers. He'd raised them since they were only a few months old.
'Unfortunately we live in a country where a segment of the population hurts more in their hearts for a tiger or a horse than to see a kid dying of hunger on the street.'