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These hilarious animals vie for this year’s funniest wildlife photo award

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Sep 06, 2021 6:21 pm

An angry bird, a laughing snake, and a humble but hilarious pigeon are just some of the finalists at the annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, which has churned out memeable photos by wildlife photographers that give us a glimpse of the funny side of the animal kingdom.

The competition recently announced 42 shortlisted photos plucked from over 7,000 entries.

This parade of images taken by ace photographers from different parts of the world showcases a lighter side of wildlife photography and reveals that nature also knows humor.

From an angry bird channeling a Monday morning mood, a photobombing polar bear, and a trio of Gentoo penguins, to a hungover burrowing owl, the photo of these animals give us the laughs that we can soak in as we take a break from the realities of these pandemic times.

Founded in 2015 by professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, the competition also aims to help promote wildlife conservation using a positive, reinforcing medium—humor.

Each year, the competition supports a different charity and for 2021, it is the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project in Borneo.

“It was an amazing turnout, especially given the impact of the pandemic. The huge number of images we receive every year illustrates the appetite there is to engage with conservation and reminds us that wildlife truly is incredible and hilarious and, we must do all we can to protect it,” Joynson-Hicks said in a statement.

Before the winners are announced on Oct. 22, the shortlisted photos will be exhibited in Birmingham, UK this month.

What’s in store for the photographer who snapped the winning image? He or she will win a one-week safari at Alex Walker’s Serian in Masai Mara, Kenya. Plus the winner will also receive a bespoke trophy Art Garage in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Last year, the overall winner of the competition was award-winning Australian photographer Mark Fitzpatrick for his hilarious photo titled “Terry the turtle flipping the bird.”

The underwater photo, taken off Lady Elliot Island in Queensland, Australia, features a seemingly irate turtle that looks like it its giving the photographer the middle finger.

You can actually vote for this year’s competition for your favorite wildlife comedy photo here.

Check out the complete list of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards finalists at

Banner and thumbnail photos by (from left) Ken Jensen, John Speirs and Andrew Mayes via