When it comes to making us laugh, animals are naturals.
Maybe that's because they don't try to make us laugh — but often find themselves in situations that remind us of our own foibles. The way animals respond to surprising — even hair-raising — situations can seem all-too-hilariously human.
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards revels in that bridge between humans and animals. Through the free, online competition, founders Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam hope that by tickling our funny bone, these images may also strike a chord for conservation.
"Every year we do this competition it gets more and more exciting seeing how people visualise the funny sides of wildlife in the wild," Joynson-Hicks notes in a press release. "And each year we see a wider variety of species doing funny things, whether it's a very naughty penguin (which had my kids rolling around the floor in hysterics) or dancing lions, a chillin' chimp or even bee-eaters having a shouting match, they're hysterical.
"Of course, the other aspect of our funny competition is letting people know what they can do at home to be conservationists. Our planet is in distress; we all know that, now we just need to know what to do. Hopefully, we can provide a few small tips to get people started."
Those tips include shopping responsibly, reducing how much water we use at home, and becoming a "wild influencer" — someone who leverages social media to raise awareness about the need for conservation.
And now, without further ado, here are the winners of this year's contest. The photo you see at top is by Vlado-Pirsa, who won the Spectrum Photo Creatures in the Air Award for "Family disagreement," which was taken in Croatia.
You can see additional images by scrolling through the gallery of finalists, some of which were published in a previous version of this file.
Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was published in September 2019.
Sarah Skinner's photo "Grab life by the ..." shows an African lion cub looking to play with the wrong end of an adult lion in Chobe National Park in Botswana. It was the overall winning image of the contest.
"I am absolutely delighted to be awarded the title as Overall Winner in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019," she said. "It certainly warms my heart to know that this image will spread some laughter and happiness around the world. I am happy to report that this lioness continues to thrive in the pride, having seen her again in October this year. I can only hope and encourage everyone, as a collective to each do our part in the conservation of all wildlife species, so that future generations can enjoy them, in the same way that I have done during my career as a wildlife photographer. Long may lions walk the plains ..."
The photo also won Alex Walker's Serian Creatures of the Land Category.
Harry Walker's 'Oh My' photo of sea otters in Seward, Alaska, sums up the contest nicely.
This image won the Affinity Photo People's Choice Award as well as the Olympus Creatures Under the Water Award.
Elaine Kruer took, "First Comes Love..then comes Marriage" of Cape squirrels in Kalahari, South Africa. This won the Amazing Internet Portfolio Award. You can see more images from the sequence in the winners' gallery.
Below you'll find a selection of Highly Commended Winners from the contest. Happy scrolling!
A red squirrel makes a wish in Sweden.
A king penguin and an Antarctic fur seal bump chests in South Georgia Island.
A white rhino sprays an egret in Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya.
Roie Galitz took this photo of a Japanese snow monkey and smartly dubbed it "Space Man."
Elmar Weiss caught this gentoo penguin surfing at Bleaker Island in the Falkland Islands.
Tom Mangelsen captured this one of a chimpanzee enjoying the moment in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.