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12 camels disqualified from beauty contest for use of Botox

A dozen camels entered in the annual camel beauty pageant in Saudi Arabia were disqualified for use of Botox injections.

According to The National online newspaper, 12 camels were found to have been injected with Botox to enhance their appearance in order to compete in the second annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, the largest pageant in the Gulf.

The beauty enhancement treatment is used in human beings to reduce the appearance of wrinkles brought on by age on the forehead, around the eyes and along laughter lines.

It is also used to make the lips fuller. In camels, it is used on the nose, upper and lower lips and the jaw to give the appearance of a bigger head, which is a sign of great beauty.

Apart from size, judges for the competition also look at the height, shape and the placement of the camel’s hump.

PRIZE MONEY

A veterinarian was caught not only giving the animals Botox injections but also performing plastic surgery to reduce the size of their ears. Small dainty ears are also a winning look.

Other nefarious ways to get the camels to have the right look include giving them hormones to make them more muscular, pulling the lips by hand to make them longer and darkening their coats with oil.

All the trouble to get the most attractive camel is for the USD 57 million (Sh 5.7 billion) prize money offered at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival.

Safeguards put in place to dissuade cheaters include microchipping the animals, determining their age by examining their teeth and having the camels spend the night before the competition at specific pens to prevent their owners from tampering with them.

Owners are also required to swear on the Quran that they are telling the truth about the appearance and ownership of the camels. This, judges have found, is the best tactic by far to weed out cheaters.