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Saudi authorities have reportedly cracked down on camel beauty pageant contestants receiving Botox injections and other "artificial enhancements". Yes, you read that right.
More than 40 camels have been disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, where they were competing to win $66million US dollars (the equivalent of £49 million).
The popular annual pageant kicked off in Saudi Arabia earlier this month, where jurors decide the winner based on the shape of the camels’ heads, necks, humps, dress and postures. Bids to make camels more attractive are strictly off limits, including Botox injections, face lifts and other cosmetic alterations.
This year, judges have escalated their clampdown on artificially enhanced camels by using "specialised and advanced" technology.
The authorities discovered dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to boost muscles, injected camels’ heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands and used fillers to relax their faces.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said: "The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels."
They added that organisers would "impose strict penalties on manipulators."
The camel beauty contest is at the heart of the anticipated King Abdulaziz carnival, which also features camel races, sales and other festivities. The extravaganza seeks to preserve the camel’s role in the kingdom’s Bedouin tradition and heritage, as camel breeding has now become a multi million-dollar industry.
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