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Saudi Arabian beauty pageant disqualifies camels cosmetically enhanced with botox

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Camels are seen during a beauty contest as part of the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rumah, some 160 kilometres east of Riyadh, on January 19, 2018. © Provided by National Post Camels are seen during a beauty contest as part of the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rumah, some 160 kilometres east of Riyadh, on January 19, 2018.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia clamped down on a popular camel beauty contest and disqualified more than 40 camels after dozens were given botox, face lifts and growth hormones.

In what’s being called the largest crackdown of cosmetically enhanced camels, cheaters at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival were found to have stretched the camel’s lips and noses, used hormones and rubber bands to make their muscles appear larger and injected botox to make their heads and lips bigger, reports AP. They also gave the camels fillers to relax their faces.

Hundreds of thousands of Saudis attend a carnival held in the desert to the northeast of the capital Riyadh, at the heart of which lies the royal camel festival, host to races, sales and other attractions featuring thousands of the dromedaries. According to AP, the prize money at the beauty pageant this year amounted to a whopping US$66 million overall.


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Judges for the contest said they were using “specialized and advanced” technology to detect cosmetic modifications this year. Top prizes are handed out based on the shape of the camels’ heads, necks, humps, dress and postures, the Daily Mail reports .

Aside from the unfairness to other breeders, giving cosmetic enhancement to camels can lead to devastating outcomes, as shown by a video that went viral in August of a camel that was pumped full of botox and suffered a burst lip.

“The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels,” the Saudi Press Agency said Wednesday. The state-run outlet added that organizers would “impose strict penalties on manipulators.”

Camel breeding is a multi-million dollar industry, according to AP, with many such events taking place across the nation.

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