What do a laughing lion, a kissing fish, a grumpy bird, a heron doing splits, and bodysurfing penguins have in common? These creatures’ silly antics were all caught on camera. Now, they’re finalists in the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, an annual competition featuring hilarious snapshots of wildlife from around the world.
Showcasing animals’ awkward moments can help make them more relatable to humans and hopefully get people interested in protecting wildlife, says Tom Sullam, one of the competition’s organizers. To raise awareness of conservation efforts, the contest also donates a portion of its entrance fees to a different environmental organization each year. This year, it’s Save Wild Orangutans, a program in Indonesia. Sullam’s all-time favorite contest photo took first prize in 2016. It shows a fox diving headfirst into a snowbank. “This fox is actually hunting a rodent under the snow,” says Sullam. “But humans don’t see that. We just see a fox doing a face-plant. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.”