Camels aren’t generally considered to be among nature’s more graceful or attractive creatures, but Saudi Arabia seems to think so. The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival runs for a month and typically draws around 30,000 humped participants. The festival offers other amenities such as camel racing, sand art and camel hair art, and exhibits detailing varying camel types.
The camels are judged based off of several factors — including their lip shape, hump size, and even their nose shape. The prize purse is usually in the tens of millions and has gotten as high as $57 million. That kind of cash was simply too alluring for one camel owner.
Ali Al Mazrouei, a high-end camel breeder and a festival regular, was disqualified from the contest when it was discovered that he was injecting Botox into his camels in order to give them that boost over the other contestants. “They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips, and even the jaw,” explained one of the judges.
Mazrouei wouldn’t be the first camel breeder to give his beasts of burden a physical appearance boost. Other cheating methods have included painting the coats darker, hormonal injections for added muscle mass, and even tugging on the lips on a daily basis in order to make them protrude more.