While perfectly timed photos are, for the most part, luck, everyone can agree that these are still an achievement that can only be attributed to a photographer’s skill and determination.
That is why there’s this thing called the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, a competition that gathers the best (well, most hilarious) wildlife pictures by phenomenal photographers who just happened to take the perfect shot of an animal doing something weird, kooky, or flat-out funny.
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Below you’ll find an interview with the CWPA team as well as our curated list of the best picks this year thus far, so feel free to scroll through, vote on the ones you loved the most, and hey, why not caption them in hilarious ways by leaving a comment!
#1 “Monday Morning Mood” By Andrew Mayes
“I took this shot while photographing a group of Pied starlings perched in a tree at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa. It perfectly sums up my mood on most Monday mornings :)”
Image credits: Andrew Mayes
We have no doubt that the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards needs no introduction at this point—Bored Panda has already featured this hilarious competition in picture form for a number of years now, and you can most certainly check out all of the previous years here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.
#2 “Quarantine Life” By Kevin Biskaborn
“Isolated inside with your family eager to get out and explore the world? These eastern raccoon kits are too. Just when you think there’s no more room in the tree hollow, mother raccoon appears and displays just how compact the space is. The babies clambered all over their mom and each another, struggling to take a look at the exact same time. This photo was taken in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. After exploring a particular area with numerous tree hallows, I identified it as a hot spot for raccoon families. Since raccoons will move from den to den, often not spending more than one night at a time in a particular den, locating an area with numerous options is key to locating the animals. I stumbled across this family and immediately worked on leveling the camera with the hole to prevent an upward angle. When the camera and tripod were ready, the baby raccoons were extremely curious (and cooperative), sticking their heads out for a closer look!”
Image credits: Kevin Biskaborn
#3 “ROFL” By Giovanni Querzani
“A young lion in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, who apparently is laughing at my photography skills.”
Image credits: Giovanni Querzani
So, what’ s new this year? Tom Sullam, Co-Founder of the CWPA, elaborated on how this year is different compared to the previous ones:
“With the pandemic continuing to affect world travel again this year, we thought that we might receive less entries than usual, but surprisingly we have had a great response so far and particularly with the ‘In the Air’ category, we have received hundreds of brilliant bird images. Maybe the fact that we have all spent more time at home recently and the lack of travel has meant more people are noticing wildlife closer to home, just outside their kitchen windows—which is fantastic.”
#4 “Happy” By Tom Svensson
“These penguins was surfing on the waves on to land and looked so happy each time”
Image credits: Tom Svensson
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#5 “Bald Eagle Gets A Surprise” By Arthur Trevino
“When this Bald Eagle missed on its attempt to grab this prairie dog, the prairie dog jumped towards the eagle and startled it long enough to escape to a nearby burrow. A real David vs Goliath story!”
Image credits: Arthur Trevino
#6 “Yay – It’s Friday!” By Lucy Beveridge
“A young springbok, all ears and spindly legs, caught in midair while pronking as the sun started to rise over the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. There’s not much information on why the Springbok pronk but some theories suggest it is a way of showing fitness and strength to ward off predators and attract mates. It has also been said that this small, dainty and largely unappreciated antelope also pronks out of excitement, jumping for joy!”
Image credits: Lucy Beveridge
“We usually receive about 7,000 to 8,000 images and hope to get the same this year, with perhaps not so many elephants or hyenas,” elaborated Sullam. “But the great thing about this competition is that wildlife is everywhere, which is why we feel so passionate about conserving it. Indeed, a couple of years ago, a shocked squirrel won the overall prize, so there is no excuse not to enter.”
For those unaware, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards sends a message of conservation through photographic comedy—one that gradually grows with each passing year. So, consider sponsoring them to make the message echo even more.
#7 “Yoga Bittern” By KT Wong
“A Yellow Bittern was trying very hard to get into a comfortable hunting position. I got this shot when it was between 2 stalks of lotus flower.”
Image credits: KT WONG
#8 “Sweet-Lips Are For Kissing” By Philipp Stahr
“This picture was taken at CuraÃ§ao, Dutch Caribbean. Usually box fishes are difficult to take pictures of, since they do not have a problem of a diver coming close, but if you show interest, they always turn the back and not the face to you. That’s why I tried to swim 0.5m above the fish and showing no interest at all to him. The same time I had my camera not in front of me, but below at my chest pointing to the bottom. When the right moment had come, I turned the camera 90 degrees to the front and just point and shoot, hoping to have the fish in focus. Never expected to have its beautiful lips that close!”
Image credits: Philipp Stahr
#9 “Cranky Hippo” By Rohin Bakshi
“The baby hippo wanted his mother’s attention, but it seems he wasn’t getting any…”
Image credits: Rohin Bakshi
We at Bored Panda were curious to find out which of the myriad of submissions throughout the years the CWPA team considers their favorites:
“Personally, it has to be one of the winning images in 2017, of 3 owls resting on a branch… except that one of the owls is not resting, he/she is wrestling to hold on to the branch, while the companions are trying to ignore the clowning/goofing around taking place. It seems to strike a very real note with the three of us that run Comedy Wildlife. Michelle holds it all together, while either Paul or Tom is scrambling to keep up with the other two!”
#10 “Missed” By Lea Scaddan
“Two Western Grey Kangaroos were fighting and one missed kicking him in the stomach.”
Image credits: Lea Scaddan
#11 “Houston We’ve Had A Problem” By Txema Garcia Laseca
“This fish is astonished when has been trapped for a fisher bird.”
Image credits: Txema Garcia Laseca
Even though the contest is still open to submissions, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards team have released a handful of their best picks thus far. And looking at these, it’s safe to say that this year’s gonna be great!
If you wish to enter the competition, the deadline for entry is June 30th, 2021, and you can apply here!