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Botox beauty camels booted out of contest

Camels are often hugely prized in the Arab world [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 January, 2018

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Twelve camels have been expelled from a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after they were discovered to have illicit enhancement to put them ahead of their dromedary competitors.

A camel beauty contest in Saudi Arabia has been hit by scandal, after some of the competitors were found to have undergone Botox treatments.

The lips of some dromedaries at King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, outside Riyadh, this month appeared exceptionally luscious, so adjudicators investigated and found that 12 had Botox injections.

"The camel is a symbol of Saudi Arabia," Fawzan al-Madi, chief judge, as he broke the news to Reuters. "We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime."

Tens of thousands of camels took part in the festival with more than $57 million prize money at stake. With such huge amounts to earn from the festival it's not surprising that some camels are given a little cosmetic enhancement to overtake their rivals.

What judges are looking for are lush, droopy lips, The National reported, so owners often give the camels a little Botox to enhance their appearance.

"They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw," Ali al-Mazrouei, one son of an Emirati camel breeder told the UAE daily. "It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it's like, 'Oh look at how big is that head is. It has big lips, a big nose'."

Another camel guide explained the levels the competitors go to for a prize.

"For example they start to pull the lips of the camel, they pull it by hand like this every day to make it longer. Secondly, they use hormones to make it more muscular and Botox makes the head bigger and bigger. Everyone wants to be a winner."

It shows that even in the honest time-old tradition of Saudi Arabia's Bedouin there's an injection of aesthetic engineering.

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