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Twelve prized camels have been disqualified from a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after their owners tried to tweak their good looks with Botox.
Thousands of camels are paraded at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival to be judged on their shapely lips and humps.
The festival, which also features camel racing and camel milk tasting, has combined prize money of $57 million.
This year’s event has been mired in scandal after the lure of 20 million Saudi riyals in prize money for each category tempted some owners to cheat.
The key attributes in camel beauty are considered to be delicate ears and big nose. Judges are also looking for perfectly placed humps, muscular physiques and leathery mouths. But there are strict rules against the use of drugs in the lips, or shaved or clipped body parts.
Ali Al Mazrouei, the son of a top Emirati breeder, said Botox was used for the lips, the nose and even the jaw, news website The National reported.
"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'," he said.
In the lead up to the festival, Saudi media reported that a vet had been caught giving camels plastic surgery including Botox injections and reducing the size of their ears.
Saudi authorities take the festival very seriously and chief judge Fawzan al-Madi said the camel was "a symbol of Saudi Arabia".
"We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime," he said.
The camel beauty contest was first held in 2000 and last year was relocated from a remote desert area to a permanent venue north of the capital, Riyadh.