Talk about dromedary drama: Let this be a cautionary tale against using botox and other cosmetic touch-ups to give your camel an edge in a beauty pageant.
Saudi authorities have disqualified 43 camels from the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in what’s being called the biggest-ever crackdown on camel beauty contestants in history, the Associated Press reported.
The annual month-long festival sees the most beautiful camels competing for $66 million in prize money, with jurors scoring the winner based on the shape of the camels’ heads, necks, humps, dress and postures. There are also camel races and sales celebrating the animals.
Using botox injections, face lifts and cosmetic procedures to enhance the camels’ assets are strictly prohibited. But this year, Saudi authorities uncovered dozens of breeders gaming the system by using botox to make the camels’ heads bigger and lips droopier, for example. Or hormones were used to boost their muscles, while other body parts (we don’t want to even ask) were inflated with rubber bands.
Camel breeding is a multimillion-dollar industry, the AP reports.
“The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels,” the Saudi Press Agency said. And organizer will “impose strict penalties on manipulators.”
In other camel news, a Nativity scene camel in Kansas escaped this week, and led police and local animal control officials on a merry chase across golf courses, streets and even the highway before it was safely caught.