Injecting Botox, fillers and other enhancements as cosmetic surgeries are no longer limited to women and men who wish to enhance their looks and maintain a youthful image.
Recently, some camel owners have resorted to using these cosmetic touch-ups, moved by greed to win huge financial prizes in camel beauty contests in Saudi Arabia.
The world‘s largest camel festival, the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in its sixth edition, which kicked off earlier this month and lasts for 40 days, offers massive prizes exceeding SAR250 million ($66.66 million).
The festival, which takes place in the town of Sayahid al Ramah, about 120 km northeast of the capital, Riyadh, features camel races with participants from across the globe such as the USA, Russia, Mexico and France, in addition to camel beauty competitions. This year registered the participation of 33,000 camel owners and breeders.
However, cheating this time has surpassed any other since the kickoff of the festival‘s inaugural edition six years ago.
The festival includes the “Al Mazayen” competition, which measures the beauty of camels, and this is where some camel owners and breeders are tempted to have their camels undergo plastic surgery and injections to change the size of their lips, and the shape of their humps to win valuable prizes.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the organizers of the festival revealed that some camel owners have “tampered” with the appearances of some of the participating camels, as some have seemingly undergone facelifts.
Some camels were given growth hormones and supplements to strengthen their muscles and overall appearance while some were injected with botox and fillers to relax their lips’ muscles and make them look fuller and further dangling, a sign of beauty among camels.
This resulted in the disqualification of more than 40 camels in one go, the largest exclusion from the festival since inception.
SPA reported that the judges in the competition used “advanced” technology to detect cosmetic improvements in the appearances of some of the camels.
As per SPA, “all camels were initially taken to a hall, where their external appearance and movements were examined by specialists.” Examinations were also conducted on the heads, necks and trunks of the camels using X-rays and 3D ultrasound devices, among other tests.
Some 27 camels were excluded in one competition due to the stretching of parts of their bodies, while 16 others were expelled for receiving Botox injections. Rubber bands were also used on the animals to make some of their body parts appear larger than normal by restricting blood flow.
The number of disqualified camels is the largest by far, since the launch of the first edition of the festival.
The organizers of the camel beauty pageant stressed that they are “keen to stop all cosmetic intrusions and deception when it comes to camels,” and promised to “impose severe penalties on manipulators.”