20 Funny Finalists of the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

Raccoon Waving at the Camera

“Hello everyone” by Miroslav Srb Holoubkov (Czech Republic).
Location of shot: Florida
I photographed a raccoon on a Florida beach, where I fed him shrimp. Then he thanked me like that.

The 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards has announced its finalists, and the results are as amusing as you'd expect. Forty standalone images and 10 portfolio entries made the cut, including everything from an agile red squirrel to a friendly raccoon to a winking red fox. While the judges make their final decisions about the winner, the public will have their say, as voting is now open for the Affinity Photo People's Choice Award.

People are invited to cast their votes and they have until November 27 to select their favorite photo. Then, in early December, the winner will be revealed along with the overall and category winners. It will be difficult to select a top photo with such incredible imagery among the finalists. The photos are not only funny but also technically sound and demonstrate the keen observational skills of these photographers.

“With so much going on in the world, we could all use a bumper dose of fun and laughter and this year’s finalists have definitely delivered that,” shares photographer Tom Sullam, who co-founded the awards in 2015. “When you see these amazing photographs like the one of an elephant seal, trying to use his neighbor’s head as a pillow (and we’ve all been there) or a wallaby at sunset, seemingly about to launch another wallaby into space, it makes you smile and wonder at the incredible animals that are on this earth with us, and we love that about the competition.”

Check out some of our favorite images from among the finalists and see the full gallery of all 40 photos on the official website.

The Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards have announced the finalists of this year's competition.

Red squirrel jumps during a rainstorm

“Jumping Jack” by Alex Pansier (Netherlands).
Location of shot: The Netherlands, Maashorst
A red squirrel jumps during a rainstorm, so you can see the drops flying around.

Meerkats in South Africa Being Playful

“I'm gonna strangle you!” by Emmanuel Do Linh San (South Africa).
Location of shot: Kalahari Trails Game Reserve, South Africa
I was following a group of meerkats on foot in the Kalahari Trails Game Reserve, in South Africa. Most individuals, including adults, were in a playful mood. It gave me a unique opportunity to capture very interesting and dynamic interactions between some members of the group. In the photo that I have selected, there is no aggression between individuals, but rather an interaction that reminds us of humans when one of your friends jokes about you and you pretend to strangle them and, in response, they open their mouth like a simpleton.

Winking Owlet Sitting in a Drain Pipe

“I CU boy!” by Arshdeep Singh (India).
Location of shot: Bikaner, India
A few hundred miles away we went to explore the wildlife of a small town named Bikaner. It was after almost a year I traveled because of Covid. We hired a guide to explore places around us. During the last day of our trip, we came across a pipe in a city where we spotted an owlet. We waited for a short while and it didn’t take a long time and one of the spotted owlets came out of the pipe. It was really funny when he came out and looked at me straight, before going inside he closed one of his eyes and felt like he wanted to say I CU boy ! and I immediately snapped a picture when he gave this pose.

Two Wallabies Playing on the Beach

“It's all kicking off!” by Michael Eastwell (UK).
Location of shot: Cape Hillsborough, Queensland
Apart from its beauty, Cape Hillsborough is renowned for its resident kangaroos and wallabies. I visited the area for three consecutive sunrises, but it was on my final morning that I captured this beautiful spectacle, two wallabies playing/fighting on the beach as the sun burst through the surrounding clouds.

Young Elephant Seals Resting on Each Other

“Uncomfortable pillow” by Andrew Peacock (USA).
Location of shot: Snow Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
These elephant seal weaners were practicing their jousting skills for many minutes before they collapsed in exhaustion. One looks to be resting far more comfortably than the other!

Bucking Zebra in Kenya

“Buck-a-roo!” by Vince Burton (UK).
Location of shot: Amboseli, Kenya
A zebra does a great impression of the 80's children's game Buck-a-roo. It also looks like it's been fart-powered.

Brown Bear Cub Sniffing a Flower

“Romantic” by Valtteri Mulkahainen (Finland).
Location of shot: Martinselkonen, Finland
Photographed in the Finnish taiga in the town of Martinselkonen. This is the center of Finland.

Every year these awards remind us of the lighter side of nature.

Hippo yawning next to a heron standing on the back of another hippo

“Misleading African viewpoints 2” by Jean-Jacques Alcalay (France).
Location of shot: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Hippo yawning next to a heron standing on the back of another hippo.

A duckling waddling across a turtle covered log

“Excuse Me… Pardon Me!” by Ryan Sims (USA)
Location of shot: Juanita Bay Park, Lake Washington, Kirkland, WA
A duckling waddling across a turtle-covered log at the Juanita wetlands, the duckling fell off after a few turtle crossings, it was cute.

Picasso Triggerfish in Egypt

“Barf” by Paul Eijkemans (Netherlands).
Location of shot: Marsa Shagra, Egypt
This picture of a Picasso Triggerfish was taken in Marsa Shagra, Egypt. The fish just vomited the coral residues that it picked up while nibbling on the coral.

Lappet-faced vultures on display

“Maniacs” by Saverio Gatto (Italy).
Location of shot: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Lappet-faced vultures on display.

American Red Fox Winking at Camera

“The Wink” by Kevin Lohman (USA).
Location of shot: San Jose, California
An American Red Fox casually walked up to the edge of the woods and sat down, then turned around and gave a wink. Moments later, this sly fox disappeared into the trees.

Lioness Making Funny Face Into the Camera

“What do you mean smile?! I am smiling!” by Alison Buttigieg (Finland).
Location of shot: Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya
I spent a whole morning with this lion pride. One of the lionesses made some funny facial expressions after yawning, luckily for me she looked straight into the camera for a moment and I caught this fake smile.

Two Wild Monkeys in Cambodia

“Monkey wellness center” by Federica Vinci (Italy).
Location of shot: Cambodia, Baphuon Temple
Walking near a Cambodian temple where groups of wild monkeys lived, I came across this scene: a wild monkey in total relaxation, while its friend was taking care of it.

The public can pick their favorite image and vote for the Affinity Photo People's Choice Award.

Eastern Screech Owl and Owlet Squeezed Into a Hole in a Tree

“Tight Fit!” by Mark Schocken (USA).
Location of shot: Largo, Florida, USA
I was going to see and photograph this eastern screech owl nest in a local park in Florida. One morning, a few days before the two owlets fledged, one owlet tried to squeeze into the nest hole with Mom, maybe to see the outside world for the first time. It was hilarious and I was glad I was there that morning to photograph it. The moment lasted only a few seconds as Mom didn't seem very happy with the arrangement. Check out the expression on her face.

Three Kamchatka brown bear cubs

“Three-headed (“Kerberos”)” by Paolo Mignosa (Italy).
Location of shot: Kuril lake, Kamchatka, Ruissia
The three cubs seem to form a ‘Kerberos’, the three-headed dog of Greek mythology.

A baby long-tailed macaque clings on to its mother

“Mum life” by Sophie Hart (UK).
Location of shot: Singapore
A baby long-tailed macaque clings on to its weary mother.

Salmon Jumping Toward Bear's Face in Alaska

“Fight Back” by John Chaney (USA).
Location of shot: Alaska
This salmon decide to punch the bear in the face rather than be lunch.

The winners will be announced in early December.

Guillemots Arriving with Fish for Their Young

“Tombstoning Guillemot” by Corinne Kozok (UK).
Location of shot: Farne Islands
The Guillemots were arriving with fish for their young and seemed to just dive into the middle of the horde of young ones.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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