3. Mumtaz is played by a 33-year-old Murad Ali, a father of two, who sits in the curtained cage for up to 12 hours a day. He inherited the role of Mumtaz from his father who died 16 years ago.
“The people, who visit here, go away happy. And knowing that they feel happy makes me happy too,’ Ali told Reuters. “There is a bond of love between me and them. Life is very short; it should be spent spreading smiles.”
4. Mumtaz became a permanent exhibit at the zoo around 40 years ago after being set up by some circus people. The zoo’s director said she has always been played by men because they can respond better to harassment from visitors.
Men who play Mumtaz are usually chosen for their acting chops and their ability to speak several local languages.
(H/t Nur Nasreen Ibrahim)
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