(CBS Local) — Have you ever found yourself wondering aloud, “Can a camel get a Botox injection?” The answer is yes, but it will apparently get them disqualified from a traditional Saudi Arabian beauty pageant.
According to reports, 12 camels were booted from Saudi Arabia’s annual camel beauty contest after it was found that their owners gave the animals Botox treatments.
“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali Al Mazrouei told United Arab Emirates newspaper The National. “It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh look at how big that head is. It has big lips, a big nose,'” the son of a prominent camel breeder added.
Why cheat in a contest for camels?
The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival brings 30,000 camels to compete and over 300,000 visitors to the region, according to reports. There is also about $57 million in prizes available for the winners of the beauty contests and camel races during the event. “Everyone wants to be a winner,” camel owner Ali Obaid told reporters.
The violators are reportedly not just banned from this year’s competition but will be excluded from the next five festivals as well. The owners of the cosmetically altered camels may also face legal penalties for breaking the kingdom’s animal welfare laws.
Saudi officials say the massive contest is a tribute to the heritage of the region, which has used camels as a source of food and transportation for centuries.
“The camel is a symbol of Saudi Arabia. We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime,” chief judge of the show, Fawzan al-Madi told Reuters.