Dozens of camels were disqualified for looking a little too perfect 🐪
If you thought child beauty pageants were bizarre, wait until we tell you about Saudi Arabia's camel beauty pageants.
Over 40 camels were disqualified from Saudi Arabia's prestigious Camel Festival this week after authorities discovered they'd received cosmetic enhancements like Botox, according to AP News.
#SaudiArabia : It\u2019s that time of year again - the now annual \u201cwow is that even a thing story\u201d as 43 #camels with cosmetic enhancements have been barred from competition in the Camel Beauty Pageant at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival near #Riyadh #\u0645\u0647\u0631\u062c\u0627\u0646_\u0627\u0644\u0645\u0644\u0643_\u0639\u0628\u062f\u0627\u0644\u0639\u0632\u064a\u0632_\u0644\u0644\u0625\u0628\u0644_6pic.twitter.com/sBSO77EpNl— sebastian usher (@sebastian usher) 1638981372
The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which started earlier this month, is an annual festival that spans 40 days and takes place in a desert region located in the northeast of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
This year, Saudi authorities conducted the biggest crackdown on the camel festival, and the results were shocking.
Dozens of camels were found to have received Botox injections, facelifts and hormones to give them the bigger muscles. Officials also found that some had received fillers to relax their faces, the AP reports.
The contest comes with a US$66 million prize, so it's no wonder the breeders are willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on the money.
The camels are judged based on the shape of their heads, necks, humps, dress and posture.
However, it's against the festival's rules to give the camels cosmetic enhancements to make them more attractive.
To identify cases of artificial enhancements among the camels and prevent breeders from cheating, judges are using "specialized and advanced" technology, according to reports by the Saudi Press Agency via the AP.
"The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels," the agency reported.
This isn't the first time breeders have been caught injecting their camels with Botox. In 2018, the New York Times reported that around 12 camels were disqualified from the contest for the same reason.
This year's festival is the first one to allow women to enter their camels in the contest.