(Representative image) The month-long camel festival kicked off earlier this month Photograph:( AFP )
The month-long camel festival kicked off earlier this month, inviting the breeders of the most beautiful camels to compete in 19 different categories for $66 million cash prize
Over 40 camels were disqualified from a ‘beauty’ pageant after Saudi authorities found that the contestants received Botox injections and other artificial touch-ups, according to the state-run news agency.
In their biggest clam down against artificially enhanced camels, the judges of the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival used “specialized and advanced” technology to detect tampering, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.
The month-long camel festival kicked off earlier this month, inviting the breeders of the most beautiful camels to compete in 19 different categories for $66 million in prize money.
Botox injections, facelifts and other cosmetic alterations to make the camels more attractive are strictly prohibited. Jurors decide the winner based on the shape of the camels’ heads, necks, humps, dress and postures.
Watch | Gravitas: Saudi festival disqualifies 40 botoxed camels
This year, the authorities discovered that dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to boost the beasts’ muscles, injected camels’ heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated the body parts with rubber bands, and used fillers to relax their faces.
“The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels,” the SPA report said, adding organisers would “impose strict penalties on manipulators”.
The camel beauty contest is at the heart of the massive carnival, which also features camel races, sales and other festivities typically showcasing thousands of dromedaries.
The camel festival sees the participation of camel owners from the Gulf, the US, France, Russia and the Kingdom, according to SPA.
(With inputs from agencies)