25/06/2014 08:51 BST | Updated 25/06/2014 09:59 BST

Mumtaz Mahal: Karachi Zoo's Mythical Foxy Lady (VIDEO)

Think you’ve got a weird job? You’ve got nothing on this guy.

Murad Ali makes a living by posing as a mythical half-fox half-woman creature in a Karachi Zoo.

Ensconced in an ornate wooden pagoda, Ali dons the persona of Mumtaz Mahal by applying a full face of make-up and posing atop what looks to be a dead fox.

mumtaz mahal

Actor Murad Ali, aka Mumtaz Mahal, aka soothsaying half fox, half woman

For up to 12 hours a day he entertains visitors by reading fortunes, and offering life advice and support.

He told Reuters: “The people who visit here go away happy. And knowing that they feel happy makes me happy too.

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“There is a bond of love between me and them. Life is very short, it should be spent spreading smiles.”

Mumtaz has been played by various actors over the years, with the role traditionally taken by men apparently in order to deflect any unwelcome attentions from male visitors.

mumtaz mahal

Ali does his own make-up, you know

Last year a reporter from the Pakistan Express Tribune visited Mumtaz and told of a meeting “where she amusingly talked about how she hails from the Savannahs in Africa but is being kept in confinement, as she happily ate the cake, juices, biscuits and fruit.”

It also writes of how Mumtaz would brag about her celebrity visitors – which have included the actress Resham and politician Sharmila Farooqi.

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