Officials with the King Abdulaziz festival kicked out a dozen camels from a camel beauty contest for receiving Botox injections, according to a report published today (Jan. 23) in The National, an Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates-based newspaper.
More than 30,000 camels and 300,000 human visitors showed up for the second annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which runs from Jan. 1to Feb. 1 this year, The National reported. And the top spot of that horde of humped herbivores is worth a pretty penny: This year's prize money totals $57 million, with $31.8 million set aside for awards for "pageantry." [Why Do Camels Have Humps?]
Perhaps it's all that cash driving the sketchy behavior among camel showers.
"They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw," Ali Al Mazrouei, a festival regular, told 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.'"
Days before the festival, a veterinarian was also "caught red-handed" both giving camels Botox and performing surgery to reduce the size of their ears, The National reported.
The National also reported that, in addition to the height, shape and placement of its hump, "a full, droopy lip and large features are essential to achieving camel celebrity status in the multimillion-dollar industry of camel pageantry."
The festival website displays this helpful infographic on camel beauty standards.
For a full rundown of camel-show cheating methods, as well as information about the festival, read The National's article here.
Originally published on Live Science.