Being a wildlife photographer can be unpredictable, as these images from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards show

‘The laughing dormouse’ Credit: Andrea Zampatti/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

The finalists of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards feature penguins at church, a laughing dormouse and a clumsy owl.

These 40 comedic finalists were selected from more than 3,500 entries from 86 countries to compete in the final competition.

The awards were founded by Tanzania-based photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam with the the aim to put a spotlight on wildlife conservation efforts.

Sullam said: “Conservation was always at the heart of the competition, along with the fact that people seemed to enjoy images of animals doing entertaining things.

“But essentially living in a country that has some of the best wildlife in the world [Tanzania] and seeing how destructive human actions can be to this wildlife, made us want to do our little bit to help.”

‘Help!!!’ Credit: Tibor Kercz/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards will be judged by a panel including TV presenter Kate Humble and comedian Hugh Dennis, alongside wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas.

Winners will be announced on December 14, with the judges looking for high quality photography alongside hilarity.

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Also accompanying this year’s competition is the launch of two books: the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and Wild and Crazy: Photos from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Check out our gallery below for a selection of the finalists.


‘Monkey Escape,’ Credit: Katy Laveck Foster/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“Celebes Macaques are a critically endangered primate found only on the northern region of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tangkoko Nature Reserve is an important habitat for this species and others. These two monkeys broke away from their group to ‘test drive’ a motorbike parked near the entrance to the reserve.”


‘Kung fu training (Australian style)’ Credit: Andrey Giljov/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“Wild red kangaroos are most active in the early morning. And the morning is the best time for the martial art training! Of course, this was not a training kangaroo male, but a funny posture during scratching. At least kangaroos want us to think so…”


‘All dressed and ready for church’ Credit: Carl Henry/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“Three king penguins approach the only church on South Georgia Island appearing to be headed for services.”


‘Eh, What’s up doc?’ Credit: Olivier Colle/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“This wild rabbit is collecting nesting material. I was watching closely as my daughter suddenly called out to this rabbit. What a great answer I got! I didn’t dare to watch the frames first. But hey, I really was thrilled.”


‘Hide and Seek’ Credit: Nadav Bagim/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Competition

“A tiny chameleon who didn’t quite understand how its camouflage mechanism is supposed to work.”


‘Smile!’ Credit: Eugene Kitsios/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“During university courses with the Bimini Biological Field Station, students learn about the importance of mangroves. These shrubs provide shelter and nursery habitat for many marine species, including this juvenile lemon shark. Whenever we arrive at the refuge site we walk through a passage-way and once we have reached the mangrove-fringed inlet at the end, we form a circle with the students. We then stand still and use chum to attract the baby sharks for the students to experience these beautiful animals up close and personal. For many, this is an unforgettable experience and the importance of these unique ecosystems is well remembered. This little shark couldn’t help but smile in front of my camera. Perhaps it was aware that it were future marine conservationists that came for a visit.”


‘Three Tanors’ Credit: Roie Galitz/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“Three joyful elephant seals in South Georgia Island”


‘Superhero’ Credit: Johnny Kääpä/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“What is he doing? People on my page came up with quite a variety of answers. Me, I just saw a squirrel scratching himself.”


‘Hitching a ride’ Credit: Daisy Gilardini/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

“Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) mother with exiting a day den, cub trying to catch a ride on mama’s bum. Wapusk National Park – Manitoba – Canada”