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Introducing the Funniest Wildlife Photos of 2017


Overall Winner 2017 “Help” by Tibor Kercz @ Tibor Kercz/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards.


A huge number of people spend a lot of time enjoying animal photos and videos. Millions of images from a variety of furry friends get posted and shared on social media every day.

It is much like a competition, with people trying to capture or find the cutest or funniest animal behavior shots they can.

What many people do not know is that there is actually a competition that combines animal photography and comedy. It is called the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and the winners have been announced.

The competition is open to anyone who wants to enter. Organizers say it is intended to be a “light-hearted, upbeat and possibly unpretentious” way to show wildlife doing funny things. This year more than 3,500 entries were received from photographers in 86 countries.

The overall winner for 2017 was a photo of three owls on a branch. Two of the owls are sitting on the branch looking into the distance. The third appears to be struggling to climb up, with the other two owls seemingly ignoring their friend’s troubles.

We’ve put together some of the other winners and finalists for you to enjoy.

Kung Fu training (Australian style)

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Andrey Giljov, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation. Kung fu training (Australian style). Funny Mammals from South America to Australia. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Andrey Giljov, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation. Kung fu training (Australian style). Funny Mammals from South America to Australia. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

All dressed and ready for church

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Carl Henry, Houston, United States. All Dressed And Ready For Church. Mom, do we always have to be the first ones at church? (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Carl Henry, Houston, United States. All Dressed And Ready For Church. Mom, do we always have to be the first ones at church? (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Coming in for a landing

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Graeme Guy, George Town, Malaysia. Outsourcing seatbelt checks. Masai Mara airstrip with a plane landing 'below' giraffe height. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Graeme Guy, George Town, Malaysia. Outsourcing seatbelt checks. Masai Mara airstrip with a plane landing 'below' giraffe height. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Hitching a ride

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Daisy Gilardini, Vancouver, Canada. Hitching a ride. Polar bear mother with cub. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Daisy Gilardini, Vancouver, Canada. Hitching a ride. Polar bear mother with cub. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

The king

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, JEAN-JACQUES ALCALAY, MONTMEYRAN, France. Animal encounters. Blue wildebeest standing on a mound. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, JEAN-JACQUES ALCALAY, MONTMEYRAN, France. Animal encounters. Blue wildebeest standing on a mound. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Duck speed

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, John Threlfall, Preston, United Kingdom. Duck Speed! Duck in front of plane trail. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, John Threlfall, Preston, United Kingdom. Duck Speed! Duck in front of plane trail. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

​Monkey business

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Katy Laveck Foster, Seattle, United States. Monkey Escape. Celebes Macaques, Tangkoko Nature Reserve. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Katy Laveck Foster, Seattle, United States. Monkey Escape. Celebes Macaques, Tangkoko Nature Reserve. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

What's up doc?

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Olivier Colle, Bredene, Belgium. What's up doc? (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Olivier Colle, Bredene, Belgium. What's up doc? (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Disco bear

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Chris Martin, Redwood Meadows, Canada. Disco Dancer. A black bear shows off his disco move in the forest. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Chris Martin, Redwood Meadows, Canada. Disco Dancer. A black bear shows off his disco move in the forest. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Merry mouse

WINNER of the Alex Walker's Serian On The Land category "The Laughing Dormouse" by Andrea Zampatti. (© Andrea Zampatti/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
WINNER of the Alex Walker's Serian On The Land category "The Laughing Dormouse" by Andrea Zampatti. (© Andrea Zampatti/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Surprise putt​

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Competition, Douglas Croft, San Jose, United States. Must Have Three-putted... Golf is a Frustrating Game. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Competition, Douglas Croft, San Jose, United States. Must Have Three-putted... Golf is a Frustrating Game. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

Bath time

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Penny Palmer, San Rafael, United States. Cheering sea otter. Hallelujah! (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Penny Palmer, San Rafael, United States. Cheering sea otter. Hallelujah! (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

The slap

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Troy MAYNE, Bacong, Philippines. The Slap! A Green Turtle vs A Napoleon Maori Wrasse. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, Troy MAYNE, Bacong, Philippines. The Slap! A Green Turtle vs A Napoleon Maori Wrasse. (Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

​If you cannot get enough of the funny wildlife photos, the organization has a book that includes many, many more.

The competition helps support the Born Free Foundation, which seeks to protect threatened wildlife. The prize for the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a trophy, as well as a free trip to take part in a one-week safari in Kenya.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

Tell us which of the photos are your favorites! You can also write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

upbeat adj. positive and cheerful

unpretentious adj. simple and/or sincere

branch n. the part of a tree that grows out from the trunk

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