Feathers, Fur, And Funny Faces: The Comedy Wildlife Highlights

By Jana I December 30, 2023

This article was originally published on racooned

Get ready to have your funny bone tickled! The latest batch of finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is here, and it’s a delightful mix of cute critters, laugh-out-loud moments, and jaw-dropping snapshots. Concocted by the talented photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam, this competition has been spreading giggles across the globe since 2015. It’s not just about capturing the wild side of wildlife; it’s also a nod to the champions of conservation.

The top 40 photos are like a masterclass in creativity, showcasing the hilarious hijinks of our furry and feathered friends. They’re guaranteed to chase those autumn blues away and slap a grin on your face that’s as wide as a hippo’s yawn. So go ahead, share the mirth with anyone in dire need of a hearty chuckle, and let’s raise a toast to the beauty and hilarity of the animal kingdom!

“Funny Walk” By Bojan Bencic

Amidst the frozen tranquility of a lake, a dramatic spectacle unfolded. A solitary swan, feathers ruffled and determination in its gaze, engaged in a fierce altercation with a rival. The icy expanse became their battleground as they chased one another relentlessly.

Image Courtesy of © Bojan Bencic/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This frozen standoff between two majestic swans was a captivating display of nature’s raw intensity, a dance of aggression and dominance on the icy waters. It’s a testament to the photographer’s luck and skill in capturing such a remarkable moment. Kudos to them!

“Romantic” By Valtteri Mulkahainen

In a serene woodland setting, a curious baby bear discovers the delicate beauty of nature, its tiny nose hovering over a cluster of vibrant wildflowers. With gentle curiosity, the young cub inhales the fragrant aroma, captivated by the scents of the forest.

Image Courtesy of © Valtteri Mulkahainen/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

His heartwarming moment showcases the innocence and wonder of youth as the bear’s wide eyes and twitching nose embrace the sensory delight of the floral world. It’s a reminder of the pure joy found in even the simplest acts of exploration.

“It’s All Kicking Off!” By Michael Eastwell

Against the idyllic canvas of a sun-soaked shoreline, a pair of spirited wallabies partake in a passionate yet genuine encounter. Their nimble forms bound and pirouette upon the golden sands while sunbeams pierce through the encircling clouds, bestowing an enchanting radiance upon the scene.

Image Courtesy of © Michael Eastwell/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The dynamic interplay of their lively frolic amidst the tranquil coastal panorama paints a captivating picture where nature’s splendor harmonizes with the wallabies’ exuberance. This breathtaking instance encapsulates the untamed essence of these creatures, reminding us of the vibrant life thriving in the serene beauty of our world.

“Fight Back” By John Chaney

In a daring act of survival, a courageous salmon defies its fate and chooses to fight rather than become a bear’s meal. With remarkable determination, it launches a surprise punch towards the oncoming bear’s face, a fleeting moment of aquatic rebellion.

Image Courtesy of © John Chaney/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This unexpected display of tenacity in the face of adversity underscores the relentless drive for life in the animal kingdom. It’s a jaw-dropping moment where the hunter becomes the hunted, and nature’s fierce struggle for survival takes an astonishing twist.

“Tight Fit!” By Mark Schocken

In the heart of a rustic woodland tableau, a pair of owls boldly challenge spatial constraints by cozying up within a tree hollow originally fashioned for solitary habitation. With meticulous finesse, they fold their feathers and nestle side by side, their eloquent eyes betraying their sentiments.

Image Courtesy of © Mark Schocken/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This amusing display of avian camaraderie highlights nature’s resourcefulness and the enduring connection between these feathered friends. In spite of the cramped quarters, their resolve to coexist within a sanctuary underscores the adaptability and camaraderie often witnessed in the wild.

“What Shall I Write Next” By Torie Hilley

In a whimsical display of curiosity, a bear stumbled upon an eagle feather and indulged in a playful interlude that lasted ten minutes. The bear frolicked, danced, and rolled with the feather, occasionally cradling it in her mouth as though contemplating the next move.

Image Courtesy of © Torie Hilley/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This remarkable moment went beyond the confines of species, offering a glimpse into the captivating and unpredictable interactions that nature often unfolds. The bear’s whimsical play with the feather underscored the innate wonder and playfulness that pervades the animal realm, leaving a lasting impression of its enchanting mysteries.

 “I Jump Instead Of Flying” By Tímea Ambrus

In a display of charming idleness, a screech-owl opted for an unconventional descent – jumping instead of taking to the air. This feathered fellow exhibited a hint of laziness in its quirky choice, showcasing a relaxed approach to its movements.

Image Courtesy of © Tímea Ambrus/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The decision to jump, rather than exert the effort to fly, added a touch of whimsy to its character. This lighthearted moment is a gentle reminder that even in the animal kingdom, individual personalities and behaviors can shine through in delightful ways.

“Curtain Call II” By Dave Shaffer

In a heartwarming scene of unadulterated joy, a bear revels in simple pleasures, finding immense delight in playing with a humble stick. With infectious enthusiasm, the bear tosses, twirls, and pounces on the stick, as if it were the most captivating toy in the world.

Image Courtesy of © Dave Shaffer/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

Its unadulterated joy shines through each playful gesture, serving as a reminder of the beauty found in seizing the present and discovering delight in life’s simplest pleasures. This charming exhibition of bearish exuberance underscores the sheer enchantment of nature’s playground.

“Barf” By Paul Eijkemans

In an underwater spectacle, a fish regurgitates the remnants of coral it had ingested while nibbling on the reef. The expelled coral residues scatter into the aquatic realm, a testament to the intricate relationship between marine life and their vibrant coral habitats.

Image Courtesy of © Paul Eijkemans/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This fleeting incident is a stark reminder of the intricate balance within underwater ecosystems. It underscores how even minor actions can set off events with significant consequences. Perhaps it seems that the fish’s fate was a result of its own actions.

“Your Picnic’s Mine!” By Lincoln Macgregor

In a captivating and somewhat comical moment, a Southern Cassowary boldly took ownership of an abandoned picnic blanket, sending picnickers scurrying away. The formidable bird seemed to revel in the leftover fish and chips, displaying an amusingly cheeky satisfaction that this photo brilliantly captures.

Image Courtesy of © Lincoln Macgregor/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

These birds are known as the ‘world’s most dangerous bird.’ The photographer documented their interactions with humans, highlighting the potential harm of human food to their health and its impact on their vital role as seed dispersers in rainforest ecosystems.

“Mum Life” By Sophie Hart

In the heart of the lush jungle, a touching tableau emerges as a young, long-tailed macaque clings affectionately to its fatigued mother. The infant’s delicate fingers find refuge in the mother’s warm embrace, forging an unbreakable bond amidst the wild beauty of their tropical habitat.

Image Courtesy of © Sophie Hart/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

In a poignant testament to maternal dedication, the mother, tired from her caregiving responsibilities, cradles her cherished offspring with unyielding affection. This heartwarming scene vividly illustrates the profound connection between parent and child within the intricate tapestry of the animal kingdom.

“I Cu Boy!” By Arshdeep Singh

The photographer was a few hundred miles from home, in the small town of Bikaner, and embarked on a wildlife exploration post-COVID. With a local guide, he roamed the city and, on the final day, stumbled upon an owlet nestled inside a pipe.

Image Courtesy of © Arshdeep Singh/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

Having photographed owls in pipes before, he waited patiently. The owlet emerged, peering directly at him. With a comical wink, it seemed to say, “I see you, buddy!” He swiftly captured the moment, a whimsical encounter with a charming owlet.

“Can I Borrow Honey From You Until Tomorrow?” By Valtteri Mulkahainen

In a serene forest setting, a playful bear adds a touch of curiosity to its wilderness escapades. With half of its furry face peeking from behind a towering tree trunk, the bear casts an endearing and mischievous glance at the world beyond.

Image Courtesy of © Valtteri Mulkahainen/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This cute moment captures the essence of nature’s enigmatic residents, reminding us of the captivating allure and the mysteries that lie within the heart of the wild, where even a simple peek from behind a tree can evoke wonder and delight.

“Do You Have A Moment To Talk About Our Lord And Saviour, T-Rex?” By Alex Cooper

Amidst the scenic landscapes of RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk, a spirited drama unfolds as two black-headed gulls engage in a fierce territorial dispute during the breeding season. Their wings are spread wide, and their calls pierce the air as they protect their nesting ground.

Image Courtesy of © Alex Cooper/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This intense struggle for dominance encapsulates the unyielding determination of these gulls to secure their place in the pecking order of the avian world. It’s a vivid reminder of the relentless competition for survival in the heart of nature’s sanctuaries.

“Stop And Stare” By Andy Evans

In the lush wilderness along the Kinabatangan River, a curious young proboscis monkey perched on the riverside foliage, eyes wide with wonder. Its gaze was fixed on a passing photographer, who glided by on the tranquil waters to get the next shot.

Image Courtesy of © Andy Evans/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The monkey’s expression was a captivating blend of amazement and curiosity, freezing a brief moment where the wild met the human world. This enchanting encounter is a poignant reminder of the harmonious yet mesmerizing coexistence between humanity and the natural realm.

“Shark Moose” By Jorn Vangoidtsenhoven

The enigmatic demeanor of a wild bull moose evokes a curious blend of emotions. Its robust frame and imposing antlers could be interpreted as a mischievous grin or a prelude to a potential showdown, adding to the intrigue of this magnificent creature in its natural habitat.

Image Courtesy of © Jorn Vangoidtsenhoven/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The mixed-up emotions on its furry face bring a dash of mystery, making us question where the line blurs between a chummy hello and the wild instincts that lurk within these awesome critters. Mother Nature’s riddle unravels, leaving us all scratching our heads in curiosity.

“Not So Cat-Like Reflexes” By Jennifer Hadley

In the heart of the wilderness, a trio of three-month-old lion cubs perched high in a tree, their adventurous spirits a testament to youthful curiosity. While their lioness companions occupied neighboring trees and the ground below, one cub decided to descend.

Image Courtesy of © Jennifer Hadley/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The cub explored branches with cautious steps, seeking the ideal route down. Its initial tree-climbing escapade took an unexpected twist as the descent turned into a tumble, resulting in a comical and endearing moment that left us chuckling at the cub’s charming mishap.

“Say Cheeeese” By Arturo Telle Thiemann

In the crystal-clear waters of the Azores, a pair of triggerfish swam into the frame, their curious eyes locking onto the camera lens. Their vibrant, striking colors contrasted beautifully with the azure backdrop, making for a captivating underwater encounter showcasing marine life’s mesmerizing diversity.

Image Courtesy of © Arturo Telle Thiemann/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

These curious triggerfish, seemingly intrigued by the camera’s presence, showcase the unique and vibrant marine life in the Azores’ pristine seas. This fleeting moment offers a glimpse into the mesmerizing world beneath the waves, where the colors and diversity of aquatic creatures create a stunning underwater tapestry.

“Keep Calm And Keep Your Head” By Martin Grace

At Volunteer Point in the Falklands, a pair of regal King Penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, stand side by side. The penguin on the right sports an inscrutable expression, but its curiosity seems piqued by a rather unusual sight – its mate’s missing head!

Image Courtesy of © Martin Grace/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This humorous encounter highlights the whimsical moments of wildlife photography, where nature’s quirks and optical illusions can create delightful and thought-provoking scenes. Even the most dignified penguins can become subjects of comical snapshots.

“Monkey Wellness Centre” By Federica Vinci

Amidst the bustling canopy of the wild, a serene moment unfolds as one monkey luxuriates in total relaxation while a caring companion tends to its needs. The tranquil monkey’s eyes reflect contentment, embodying the trust and kinship that binds these creatures.

Image Courtesy of © Federica Vinci/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This heartwarming scene reminds us of the deep bonds in the animal kingdom, where empathy and companionship flourish even in the most untamed corners of nature. It shows us that love is love, whether you are a human or an animal.

“Three Headed (“Kerberos”)” By Paolo Mignosa

In a whimsical alignment of nature and myth, three bear cubs stand together, resembling a living incarnation of the mythological Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Greek legend. These adorable cubs exude an air of unity, their furry heads forming an enchanting trio.

Image Courtesy of © Paolo Mignosa/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This captivating moment in the wild serves as a playful reminder of the enchanting connections between the animal world and timeless myths. It’s as if nature’s wonders occasionally mirror the tales of ancient folklore, inviting us to see the magic in the world around us.

“Rushing Little Owl Fledgeling” By Shuli Greenstein

Two fledgling birds engage in playful antics in a charming spectacle of youth and vitality. Their newfound wings and boundless energy propel them into joyful games as they frolic together in the embrace of nature. That’s what the photographer saw before this masterpiece:

Image Courtesy of © Shuli Greenstein/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

With feathers ruffled and spirits soaring, these young birds epitomize the carefree spirit of youth. The way this one was strutting is everything and so much more! It’s like a model, and the world is its stage and fashion show!

“I’m Gonna Strangle You!” By Emmanuel Do Linh San

Amidst the arid landscapes, two meerkats strike a heartwarming pose, mirroring the essence of true friendship. Side by side, they stand vigilant, their attentive gazes revealing an unbreakable bond. These meerkats epitomize the essence of companionship in the unforgiving desert.

Image Courtesy of © Emmanuel Do Linh San/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

Their unwavering togetherness in the harsh desert environment showcases the remarkable strength found in the animal kingdom’s relationships. In their stoic stance, they remind us that even in the wild, friendship can be a source of comfort and support, a testament to the enduring bonds forged amidst the challenges of nature.

“Misleading African Viewpoints 2” By Jean Jacques Alcalay

In the serene waters of the riverbank, a colossal hippo’s wide yawn unveils its cavernous mouth. In close proximity, a heron gracefully perches on the back of another hippo, presenting a whimsical tableau of stark size and behavioral contrasts amidst the tranquil surroundings.

Image Courtesy of © Jean Jacques Alcalay/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The hippo’s yawn offers a glimpse into its world of aquatic repose, while the heron’s graceful presence adds an unexpected touch of elegance to the scene. This juxtaposition of creatures showcases the diverse and fascinating interactions that occur in the wild!

“Cute” By Ahmed Alahmed

Amidst the bustling city of Abha, a troupe of mischievous monkeys flourishes, displaying an adept knack for resourceful food pilfering from unsuspecting residents. These urban primates exhibit remarkable cunning, employing various tactics to acquire their coveted treats, adding a unique charm to the cityscape.

Image Courtesy of © Ahmed Alahmed/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This intriguing coexistence between humans and their crafty simian neighbors is a vivid reminder of the adaptability and ingenuity of wildlife in urban landscapes. Additionally, the monkey’s curious expression resembles one found on dating apps, adding a humorous touch to this unique urban interaction.

“You Can’t See Me, Can You?” By Lukas Zeman

Within the remnants of a collapsed house in Bulgaria, a small owl finds refuge and sanctuary deep within the chimney’s embrace. Its wide, watchful eyes convey both wariness and a quiet resolve as it navigates the desolation of its surroundings.

Image Courtesy of © Lukas Zeman/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This tenacious little owl embodies nature’s indomitable spirit, adapting to adversity with resilience and stealth. Amidst the ruins, this avian symbolizes the enduring beauty and the capacity of wildlife to carve out a niche even in the most unexpected places.

“Comedian” By Ahmed Alahmed

In a heartwarming family tableau, a mother monkey gently calls to her playful offspring, and a photograph captures a captivating moment of her laughter. Her warm eyes and the joyful curve of her lips reflect maternal delight as she watches her children frolic before her.

Image Courtesy of © Ahmed Alahmed/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

In this enchanting scene, the bond between parent and child in the animal kingdom shines through, reminding us of the universal language of love and joy that transcends species boundaries, where laughter becomes the bridge that connects hearts in the wild.

“Tombstoning Guillemot” By Corinne Kozok

Parents gracefully descended from the skies between a bustling sea of young Guillemots, each clutching a precious bounty of fish for their eager offspring. The air was filled with a frenzied flurry of wings as adult Guillemots seamlessly integrated into the crowd.

Image Courtesy of © Corinne Kozok/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This remarkable avian scene encapsulates the profound parental dedication found in the natural world. The survival of the next generation relies on the timely arrival of these fish-bearing messengers from the sea, highlighting the intricate balance of life and nature’s wonders.

“Happy Feet” By Thomas Vijayan

In the penguin colony, a moment of transition unfolds as a once-dependent chick reaches an independence milestone. With newfound strength and determination, it ventures into the seas to secure its sustenance, a remarkable step in the journey of survival and growth.

Image Courtesy of © Thomas Vijayan/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This pivotal moment in a young penguin’s life mirrors the timeless cycle of nature, where parental care prepares the next generation to embrace self-sufficiency and face the challenges of the open ocean. It’s a heartwarming reminder of the cuteness and wonder of the natural world.

“Lisper Squirrel” By Lee Zhengxing

A squirrel with plump cheeks, laden with a bounty of stored food, appears to sport a charming lisp-like expression, thanks to its protruding tongue. This endearing sight captures a moment of nature’s whim as the furry forager busily gathers provisions for the future.

Image Courtesy of © Lee Zhengxing/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The tongue’s playful presence adds a touch of humor to its industrious demeanor, reminding us of the animal kingdom’s captivating and often comical quirks. It’s a delightful reminder that even the simplest acts can become a source of fascination and amusement.

“Jumping Jack” By Alex Pansier

In the midst of a refreshing rainstorm, a red squirrel transforms into a momentary acrobat, gracefully leaping through the falling droplets. The airborne creature conjures a captivating spectacle as raindrops swirl around it, engaging in a shimmering and enchanting dance.

Image Courtesy of © Alex Pansier/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This captivating moment captures the squirrel’s agility and the enchantment of nature’s elements. In its brief, airborne interlude, the squirrel showcases the remarkable adaptability of wildlife, turning a simple leap into a poetic expression of life amid a rain-soaked world.

“Pegasus, The Flying Horse” By Jagdeep Rajput

In an unexpected and visually striking encounter, an Indian Saras Crane surprises a Bluebell by launching an attack from behind. In this moment, the crane’s wings seem to merge with the Bluebull’s form, creating an illusion reminiscent of the Pegasus.

Image Courtesy of © Jagdeep Rajput/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This unique blend of wildlife behavior and the fantastical realm of mythology offers a whimsical snapshot of the extraordinary and often surreal moments that nature occasionally gifts us. It reminds us how reality and imagination converge in the wild, creating captivating scenes beyond our wildest dreams.

“Excuse Me… Pardon Me!” By Ryan Sims

At the Juanita Wetlands, a darling duckling embarked on an adventurous journey, waddling across a log adorned with turtles. Its tiny steps mirrored an endearing determination, but after a few turtle crossings, the duckling’s clumsiness led to a gentle tumble.

Image Courtesy of © Ryan Sims/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The mishap added a touch of cuteness to the scene, showcasing the innocence and resilience of young creatures exploring their surroundings. In this wetland setting, nature’s moments remind us of the simple joys and mishaps that grace the lives of its inhabitants.

“What Do You Mean Smile?! I Am Smiling!” By Alison Buttigieg

In the heart of the wild savannah, a lioness showcased her playful side after a hearty yawn. She gazed directly into the camera with wide eyes and a hint of mischief, creating a momentary but priceless fake smile. Look at it!

Image Courtesy of © Alison Buttigieg/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This expression from one of nature’s fiercest predators captured the essence of the wild, where even the mightiest creatures can reveal their lighthearted side. It’s a reminder that the animal kingdom is full of surprises, offering glimpses of power and charm in equal measure.

“Talk To The Fin!” By Jennifer Hadley

On the windswept shores of the Falkland Islands, a delightful moment unfolds as two Gentoo penguins share a beachside rendezvous. Suddenly, one penguin decides to shake off the ocean’s chill, casting a cascade of droplets into the air. It’s a playful display of nature’s whim in an enchanting setting.

Image Courtesy of © Jennifer Hadley/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This impromptu shower earns a cheeky snub from its companion, evoking a comical interaction that only nature can provide. Amidst the stark beauty of the Falklands, even penguins can become characters in whimsical snapshots, illustrating the everyday charm of life in the wild.

“Uncomfortable Pillow” By Andrew Peacock

On a remote shore, young elephant seal weaners engaged in a playful jousting match, honing their skills in several minutes of spirited duels. Their synchronized sparring and determined efforts were a testament to their playful nature, showcasing these coastal habitats’ vibrant life and energy.

Image Courtesy of © Andrew Peacock/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

Eventually, exhaustion overcame them, and they flopped onto the sand. Seemingly more at ease, one seal settled into rest more comfortably than its counterpart. This charming display of youthful exuberance exemplified their bonds, reminding us of the importance of playful interactions in the animal kingdom.

“Hello Everyone” By Miroslav Srb

On a sunny Florida beach, a raccoon made an endearing appearance, captured in a photograph as it enjoyed a feast of shrimps generously offered by a photographer. In a remarkable display of gratitude, the raccoon extended its leg in a playful manner.

Image Courtesy of © Miroslav Srb/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

This whimsical exchange between a human and a wild visitor exemplified the unexpected and heartwarming connections that can arise between species, even in the unlikeliest of places, under the warm coastal sun, showcasing the harmonious coexistence of nature and humanity.