42 hilarious finalists in this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

"Time For School" by Chee Kee Teo.

  • The annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards highlight hilarious photos of animals in the wild.
  • This year's 42 finalists were chosen out of 7,000 images, and the contest is now open for voting.
  • The photos feature otters, bears, monkeys, tigers, penguins, and other wildlife in comical poses.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Photographer Aditya Kshirsagar titled this photo of a lizard striking a pose “Attitude!!”

A fan throated lizard poses on a tree branch.
"Attitude!!" by Aditya Kshirsagar.

“Males of this species of lizard choose higher elevations to monitor their territory and display,” Kshirsagar wrote. “I caught this particular male roosting on the twig of a bush during the high heat of summer.”

Vine snakes open their mouths to show aggression, but Kshirsagar found it looks more like a wide smile in “Laughing Snake.”

A snake with its mouth wide open, like it's laughing.
"Laughing Snake" by Aditya Kshirsagar.

“Vine snakes are very commonly-seen snakes in the Western Ghats of India,” Kshirsagar wrote. “When approached, they show aggression by opening their mouth wide open. Nothing to be afraid of with this beautiful harmless vine snake. I was happy to find it smiling, and it looks like he was smiling back at me.”

Andrew Mayes took this snapshot of a grumpy-looking pied starling, titled “Monday Morning Mood.”

A grumpy-looking pied starling bird.
"Monday Morning Mood" by Andrew Mayes.

“I took this shot while photographing a group of pied starlings perched in a tree at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa,” Mayes wrote. “It perfectly sums up my mood on most Monday mornings.”

A bear cub leaned on its mother to enjoy the view in Andy Parkinson’s “Leaning Post.”

A baby brown bear leans backwards on a larger bear.
"Leaning Post" by Andy Parkinson.

“A young cub decided to use his patient mother as a leaning post, the birds in the trees requiring closer inspection,” Parkinson wrote.

Parkinson also captured two bear cubs play-fighting in “Let’s Dance.”

Two bears facing each other, looking like they're dancing.
"Let's Dance" by Andy Parkinson.

“Two Kamchatka bear cubs square up for a celebratory play fight having successfully navigated a raging torrent (small stream!)” Parkinson wrote.

The owl in Anita Ross’ photo appears to be saying, “Shhh! I’m so hungover it hurts.”

A tired-looking owl stands on a tree branch. Its eyes are mostly shut.
"Shhh! I'm so hungover it hurts" by Anita Ross.

“Burrowing owl youngsters are so amusing to watch,” Ross wrote. “This burrowing owl caught my eye because he looked like he had a hangover.”

Arthur Trevino’s photo, taken in Hygiene, Colorado, captures a prairie dog standing up to a bald eagle in “Bald Eagle Gets a Surprise.”

A prairie dog and an eagle face off.
"Ninja Prairie Dog!" by Arthur Trevino.

“When this bald eagle missed on its attempt to grab this prairie dog, the prairie dog jumped towards the eagle and startled it long enough to escape to a nearby burrow,” Trevino wrote. “A real David vs. Goliath story!”

Axel Bocker came across a jolly dragonfly in “Don’t Worry. Be Happy!”

A blue dragonfly that appears to be smiling at the camera.
"Don't Worry. Be Happy!" by Axel Bocker.

“A dragonfly on a flower looks into my camera early in the morning, and it seems as if it is laughing,” Bocker wrote. “If I have a bad day, this image makes me smile back.”

In “Foot Jam” by Brook Burling, a raccoon has a tough time fitting into a hole in a tree trunk.

A raccoon stuck in a hole in a tree trunk.
"Foot Jam" by Brook Burling.

“There is a great big pine tree with a small-to-medium-sized hole in it near my house that a young racoon has called home for the past year,” Burling wrote. “Well, this year it appears that the little racoon has outgrown its tiny home, as it barely fits!”

“Directing Penguin” by Carol Taylor shows a penguin appearing to give another penguin directions.

Two penguins standing and facing each other. The penguin on the left has its wing extended.
"Directing Penguin" by Carol Taylor.

“Two gentoo penguins having a discussion after coming out of the surf,” Taylor wrote.

Charlie Page titled this photo of a gosling poking its head out “Peekaboo.”

A gosling peeking out from behind the leg of a bench.
"Peekaboo" by Charlie Page.

“I was photographing a group of goslings for a while when one broke away from the pack,” Page wrote. “It hid behind the leg of a bench for a few seconds before poking its little head out to say hello.”

Chee Kee Teo captured a surprised baby otter being carried around by its mother in “Time For School.”

An otter carries a baby otter by the skin of its neck.
"Time For School" by Chee Kee Teo.

“A smooth-coated otter ‘bit’ its baby otter to bring it to and fro for a swimming lesson,” Teo wrote.

Cheryl Strahl photographed a polar bear hamming it up in “The Photobombing Wave.”

Polar bears play in the water.
"The Photobombing Wave" by Cheryl Strahl.

“A polar bear mom and cubs frolicked in the icy waters of the Arctic,” Strahl wrote. “They kept dipping under the water, and came up together with this amusing pose. A tender moment is shared by mom and one cub, while the other photobombs with a wave to the onlookers.”

A mudskipper appears to have an audience in “See Who Jumps High” by Chu Han Lin.

A fish jumps in the air, watched by two other fish.
"See Who Jumps High" by Chu Han Lin.

Lin captured this photo in Taiwan.

Clemence Guinard came across a baboon who looked ready to burst into song and titled the image “The Baboon Who Feels Like A Tenor.”

A baboon with its mouth wide open, as if it were singing.
"The Baboon Who Feels Like A Tenor" by Clemence Guinard.

“Resting with its pack, down a road in the Saudi Arabian mountains, this hamadryas baboon started to yawn,” Guinard wrote. “But the graceful position of its paws, its fluffy cape, its eyes looking like it put some makeup — in front of the camera, this baboon was on stage, ready to please its public and to start its tenor solo.”

David Eppley gave this photo the tongue-in-cheek name “Majestic and Graceful Bald Eagle.”

A bald eagle crashes into a tree.
"Majestic and Graceful Bald Eagle" by David Eppley.

“Bald eagles will use the same nest for years, even decades, adding new material to it at the beginning and throughout the nesting season,” Eppley wrote. “Normally, they are highly skilled at snapping branches off of trees while in flight. Possibly tired from working nonstop all morning on a new nest, this particular bald eagle wasn’t showing its best form. Yes, sometimes they miss. Although this looks painful, and it might very well have been, the eagle recovered with just a few sweeping wing strokes, and chose to rest a bit before making another lumber run.”

The pelican in Dawn Wilson’s photo appeared to be “Shaking Off 2020.”

A pelican flaps its wings.
"Shaking Off 2020" by Dawn Wilson.

“I was photographing brown pelicans on a rainy day in southern Louisiana in early 2021, still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Wilson wrote. “As the pelicans woke up, they would shake the water off their bodies before heading out to fish. This particular one almost seemed to be shrugging his shoulders, as if to say, ‘I have no idea what 2021 will be like.'”

The frog in Dikky Oesin’s photograph, titled “Yes, I Did It,” seems to be celebrating a successful climb.

A frog sits on top of a leaf.
"Yes, I Did It" by Dikky Oesin.

“A frog climbed a flower from a plant,” Oesin wrote. “When he made it to the top, he laughed, celebrating his success.”

Dirk-Jan Steehouwer photographed a monkey hitching a ride in “Monkey Riding A Giraffe.”

A monkey rids on the back of a giraffe.
"Monkey Riding A Giraffe" by Dirk-Jan Steehouwer.

“During a game drive, we found a group of monkeys playing around with each other, jumping up and down from a bare branch,” Steehouwer wrote. “It was a joy to watch. After a while, I saw a giraffe coming from the right. The moment the giraffe passed the branch, one of the monkeys was on his post to ride the giraffe.”

Edwin Smits titled this image of a wild horse “Fluff.”

A close-up photo of a wild horse's mouth from below.
"Fluff" by Edwin Smits.

“While trying to take proper pictures with flash, I visited two groups of wild horses for two years,” Smits wrote. “Every now and then, they didn’t try to eat my flashes or run over the stands and they posed for me.”

Gurumoorthy K. called this image of a chameleon “The Green Stylist.”

A green chameleon on a branch.
"The Green Stylist" by Gurumoorthy K.

The photo was taken in India’s Western Ghats.

A monkey appears to be kissing a tree trunk in Jakub Hodan’s “Treehugger.”

A monkey hugs a tree branch.
"Treehugger" by Jakub Hodan.

“This proboscis monkey could be just scratching its nose on the rough bark, or it could be kissing it,” Hodan wrote. “Trees play a big role in the lives of monkeys. Who are we to judge?”

The raccoons in Jan Piecha’s “Telephone” appear to have some juicy gossip.

Three raccoons in a tree. One appears to be whispering to another.
"Telephone" by Jan Piecha.

“The little raccoon cubs are telling secrets to each other,” Piecha wrote.

Autumn smacked this pigeon right in the face in John Speirs’ photo, “I Guess Summer’s Over.”

A pigeon's face covered by a dried leaf.
"I Guess Summer's Over" by John Speirs.

“I was taking pictures of pigeons in flight when this leaf landed on a bird’s face,” Speirs wrote.

Joshua Galicki titled this photo of penguins in motion “We’re Too Sexy For This Beach.”

Three penguins walk on a beach.
"We're Too Sexy For This Beach" by Joshua Galicki.

“I was lying on the beach during a stretch of fair weather at Volunteer Point in East Falkland, just waiting to capture a gentoo penguin jumping out of the surf to land on the beach,” Galicki wrote. “To my delight, a trio emerged from the water and walked straight in my direction. I really enjoyed photographing this moment as it seems to capture some sassy personality displayed by these individuals.”

The monkey in Ken Jensen’s photo appears to be exclaiming “Ouch!”

A monkey sits with a rope between its legs. Its facial expression appears pained.
"Ouch!" by Ken Jensen.

“A golden silk monkey in Yunnan, China,” Jensen wrote. “This is actually a show of aggression, however, in the position that the monkey is in it looks quite painful!”

Kevin Biskaborn’s image features a mother raccoon with her babies squished into a tight space, aptly titled “Quarantine Life.”

Four raccoons squished in a hole in a tree trunk.
"Quarantine Life" by Kevin Biskaborn.

“Isolated inside with your family eager to get out and explore the world? These eastern raccoon kits are too,” Biskaborn wrote. “Just when you think there’s no more room in the tree hollow, mother raccoon appears and displays just how compact the space is. The babies clambered all over their mom and each [other], struggling to take a look at the exact same time. This photo was taken in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.”

Larry Petterborg titled this photo of a vervet monkey “Just Checking.”

A monkey looks at its groin.
"Just Checking" by Larry Petterborg.

“A male vervet monkey was hanging around a bridge over the Luangwa River in South Luangwa National Park looking for some action (handouts from passersby),” Petterborg wrote.

Lea Scaddan captured a kangaroo with imprecise aim in “Missed.”

Two kangaroos jumping at each other. One kicks at the other, but misses.
"Missed" by Lea Scaddan.

“Two western grey kangaroos were fighting and one missed kicking him in the stomach,” Scaddan wrote.

Scaddan titled this photo of a melodramatic kangaroo “Operatic Warm Ups.”

A kangaroo leaning back with its arms in the air, as if it were singing in an opera.
"Operatic Warm Ups" by Lea Scaddan.

“The kangaroo looked like he was singing ‘The hills are alive, with the sound of music’ in the field,” Scaddan wrote.

A grey seal pup appears to be giggling in “Mr. Giggles” by Martina Novotna.

A seal sitting on a rock. It appears to be giggling.
"Mr. Giggles" by Martina Novotna.

“I loved the expression captured,” Novotna wrote. “It looks so human-like. I was lying on a rocky beach for hours, as motionlessly as possible, patiently waiting for seal life to unfold around me. This seal pup came onto the shore for a bit of rest and ended up sleeping on its chosen rock for hours before the incoming tide forced it to move more inland. Occasionally, it would stretch and yawn, and it was one of the yawns that led to this expression, looking as if the seal was giggling.”

A friendly damselfly appears to wave to the camera in “Welcome to Nature” by Mattias Hammar.

A damselfly appears to be waving at the camera.
"Welcome to Nature!" by Mattias Hammar.

“A red damselfly welcomes us into the world of macro nature,” Hammar wrote. “It was so amazing to see it climb up the straw, and pause at the intersection to say hi!”

“How Do You Get That Damn Window Open?” by Nicolas de Vaulx shows a raccoon mid-heist.

A raccoon struggling to open a window.
"How Do You Get That Damn Window Open?" by Nicolas de Vaulx.

“This raccoon spends his time trying to get into houses out of curiosity — and perhaps also to steal food,” de Vaulx wrote.

Pal Marchhart played a game of “Peekaboo” with a bear cub.

A brown bear hiding behind a tree trunk.
"Peekaboo" by Pal Marchhart.

“A young bear descending from a tree looks like it is playing hide and seek,” Marchhart wrote.

A ruby-crowned kinglet appears to ask photographer Patrick Dirlam, “Did I Say You Could Take My Picture?”

A puffed-up bird that appears to be angry.
"Did I Say You Could Take My Picture?" by Patrick Dirlam.

“I followed this ruby-crowned kinglet for about 15 minutes as it hopped from one branch to another in fast succession,” Dirlam wrote. “I think it knew I was following it because all of the sudden, it just stopped and stared at me for all of about three seconds!”

Philipp Stahr titled this photo of a puckering boxfish “Sweet Lips Are for Kissing.”

A boxfish with large pink lips swims in the ocean.
"Sweet Lips Are For Kissing!" by Philipp Stahr.

“This picture was taken at Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean,” Stahr wrote. “Usually boxfish are difficult to take pictures of. They do not have a problem with divers coming close, but if you show interest, they always turn their back and not their face towards you. When the right moment came, I turned the camera 90 degrees to the front to just point and shoot, hoping to have the fish in focus. Never expected to have its beautiful lips that close!”

Rick Elieson photographed a bear appearing to dance in “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”

A bear standing on its hind legs, appearing to dance.
"Cotton-Eyed Joe" by Rick Elieson.

“Ever seen a grizzly bear square dance?” Elieson wrote. “Just need a jug, some spoons and a banjo. Gets ’em every time.”

The gopher in Roland Kranitz’s photo, titled “Flautist,” looks like a talented instrumentalist.

A squirrel holding a stick to its mouth, like it was playing the flute.
"Flautist" by Roland Kranitz.

“I spent my days in my usual ‘gopher place’ and yet again, these funny little animals haven’t belied their true nature,” Kranitz wrote.

Kranitz also captured a gopher taking a flying leap in “I Got You.”

A squirrel jumping at another squirrel.
"I Got You" by Roland Kranitz.

Kranitz captured the photos in Hungary.

A langur monkey appears to feel the rhythm in “Dancing Away to Glory” by Sarosh Lodhi.

A monkey appears to dance.
"Dancing Away to Glory" by Sarosh Lodhi.

“A young langur sways its body to give the impression that it’s dancing,” Lodhi wrote.

Siddhant Agrawal titled this photo “Smoked Deer For Dinner” since it looks like the tiger is setting up a spit.

A tiger holding a fallen tree trunk.
"Smoked Deer For Dinner" by Siddhant Agrawal.

“I have been following the family of a tigress called Paaro in India’s Jim Corbett National Park for many years,” Agrawal wrote. “This is her daughter, who stood on her hind limbs to be able to scratch her face with a log. But, it appears as if she is carrying the log on her shoulders.”

Wenona Suydam came across a bear that may have watched “Titanic” one too many times in this photo titled “Draw Me Like One Of Your French Bears.”

A bear reclines on its side.
"Draw Me Like One Of Your French Bears" by Wenona Suydam.

“This young kodiak brown bear sauntered down the riverbed and stopped across from me,” Suydam wrote. “She proceeded to start making herself a bear bed, pulling back the sand with her gigantic claws. Once she had her bed just how she wanted it, she laid down, rolled over on her back, and started smiling at me! And she didn’t stop smiling! I would have to say she was the most provocative bear I had ever seen!”

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