A salmon one-ups a brown bear
A salmon one-ups a brown bear. (Photo: Rob Kroenert/Comedy Wildlife Awards)

What we all need right about now is something to make us smile, giggle, guffaw or just laugh outright. The 2016 winners of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are sure to do just that!

More than 2,200 laughable (in a good way) photos poured in from all over the world for the contest, balancing the technical skill of top-notch photographers with comical timing worthy of the best stand-up comedians.

Pouncing fail
Pouncing fail! (Photo: Angela Bohlke/Comedy Wildlife Awards)

The overall winner as well as winner of the On the Land category was Angela Bohlke's photo of a red fox during a moment of hunting that the fox probably doesn't want its friends to see.

“The picture shows a red fox hunting for his morning breakfast, a small rodent, known as a vole. This photograph is from one of the times he unfortunately, however, hilariously missed. On the third try, he finally succeeded," says Bohlke.

“To me, winning is just a chance to share the beauty of our protected lands with more people. I plan to donate any personal profit from sales of the image back to Yellowstone National Park where this image was taken.”

Lizard knows how to pose like a rock star
This lizard knows its a rock star. (Photo: Anup Deodhar/Comedy Wildlife Awards)

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards collaborates with The Born Free Foundation, and while laughs are the primary purpose, raising awareness about the smirk-worthy animals and their habitats are also important parts of the contest.

“Animals can make you laugh without even knowing why. It is the anthropomorphic behavior," says one of the contest judges, Tom Sullam. "There is also such a broad range of animals, from so many countries, that it really raises the awareness of conservation on a global scale. Entries came from Argentina to Sweden, from the USA to Hungary, Australia to Russia, China to South Africa, and everywhere in between!”

Is this bear fishing or flying?
Is this bear fishing or flying? (Photo: Adam Parsons/Comedy Wildlife Awards)

This is only the second year of the contest, but it has already garnered a lot of attention. Because of this success, the contest will return again in 2017 — a benefit to both wildlife and humans.

“Last year was great, but this year has surpassed our expectations," says judge and founder of the competition, Paul Joynson-Hicks. “We will 100 percent be back again next year. The ability to raise awareness of conservation issues through the medium of humorous photography has taken us all by surprise. It was one of the aims of the competition, but we did not expect it to be so effective."

With that in mind, here are a few more gems to enjoy:

There's always that one friend...
There's always that one friend... (Photo: Mario Fiorucci/Comedy Wildlife Awards)
Pelicans are usually a lot more coordinated than this.
Pelicans are usually a lot more coordinated than this. (Photo: Nicolas de Vaulx/Comedy Wildlife Awards)
Conducting nature's orchestra
It's time to conduct nature's orchestra. (Photo: Perdita Petzl/Comedy Wildlife Awards)
Mama said there'd be days like this.
Mama said there'd be days like this. (Photo: Tom Stables/Comedy Wildlife Awards)
Dream big, cat. Dream big.
Dream big, cat. Dream big. (Photo: Vaughan Jessnitz/Comedy Wildlife Awards)

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.