Camel Beauty Pageant Cracks Down on Cheaters

Some animals had been given Botox injections
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2021 11:37 AM CST
Camel Beauty Pageant Cracks Down on Cheaters
Dromedaries at a market near Riyadh.   (Getty /vdvornyk)

(Newser) – The world's biggest camel beauty pageant has returned after a year off—and with it, the perennial controversy over suspiciously beautiful camels. The BBC reports that more than 40 camels have been disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia because of cosmetic procedures including Botox injections, which give the animals fuller lips. Organizers used "specialized and advanced" technology in their biggest-ever crackdown on enhanced camels at the monthlong festival, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Contestants were examined by specialists and scanned with X-ray and 3D ultrasound machines.

Some $66 million in prize money is up for grabs at the festival, with beauty judged by the "shape of the camels' heads, necks, humps, dress, and postures," per the AP. Beyond Botox, authorities found that breeders had also given camels hormones to boost muscle growth, stretched out their body parts, and injected their lips and noses with collagen filler. "The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels," and violators will face "strict penalties," the Saudi press agency said. (In 2018, one vet was caught performing plastic surgery on camels.)

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