A pelican losing its lunch and an elephant falling on its face, both relatable behaviors made much more humorous by a well-timed camera click.
Judges honored photos of these incidents and nearly 40 others as finalists in this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
As its name suggests, the international competition highlights the humor captured in animal photography. British, Tanzania-based photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam created the contest in 2015 in hopes of boosting wildlife conservation efforts.
“The contest celebrates great photography of wildlife, but with the humorous element thrown in,” said Sullam. “We wanted to have a photo competition that was positive and upbeat but with a serious message about wildlife conservation attached to it.”
This year, photographers submitted more than 2,000 unexpectedly funny animal images from 75 different countries. A panel of photography experts and famed comedians chose the winners unveiled in Britain on Wednesday.
Finalist and winning photos alike are already garnering licensing requests for books and calendars, and Joynson-Hicks and Sullam hope the competition’s popularity will help boost support of contest partner the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity.
“Photography can always capture a moment, sometimes unfairly, that portrays the animals exhibiting funny behavior,” said Sullam. “Hopefully, this behavior and humor can be used to create a sense of conservation in all our viewers and entrants, [and provide] an escape from some of the less pleasant images and news that we are bombarded with every day.”
View a selection of the finalists and winners of the 2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards below.