Comedy Wildlife Photos Capture the Goofiness in Animals

Check out the laughing lion and smooching fish.

bald eagle gets a surprise

© Arthur Trevino / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Wildlife photography can be so gorgeous. Photographers wait for hours to capture the perfect breathtaking images of elusive animals unaware they're being observed.

But wildlife photography can also be pretty funny. Like the photo above, "Bald Eagle Gets a Surprise" by Arthur Trevino, taken in Hygiene, Colorado. It's one of the entries so far in the annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Trevino describes his image:

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. A real David vs Goliath story!

Now in its seventh year, the competition highlights the lighter side of wildlife photography. Thousands of entries have been received from around the world. Entries will be accepted until June 30.

Each year, the competition also supports a charity that works to protect a vulnerable species. This year, the competition is donating 10% of its total net revenue to Save Wild Orangutans. The charity protects orangutan populations and forest biodiversity in and around Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo.

"Supporting conservation is a major part of the awards. Through the amazing images submitted to the competition we get to see the wonders of the world’s wildlife and realize how incredibly lucky we are to have it so that when their habitats and populations are under threat, which they are daily, it is devastating!" Michelle Wood, awards managing director, tells Treehugger.

"We can each do a little bit for the planet, really simple things—whether that is walking more instead of always taking the car, using less plastic, growing our own veg—if we all did it, the result would be huge," says Wood. "By using the brilliant coverage of these images, we want to try to enlighten and energize people to do more for the environment."

Here's a look at some of the contest's other top entries so far and what the photographers had to say about their images.


young lion laughing

© Giovanni Querzani / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Giovanni Querzani of Italy took this photo of a young lion in Africa.

A young lion in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, who apparently is laughing at my photography skills.

"Sweet Lips are for Kissing"


© Philipp Stahr / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

German photographer Philipp Stahr photographed this boxfish when it appeared to be puckering up.

This picture was taken at Curacao, Dutch Caribbean. Usually box fishes are difficult to take pictures of, since they do not have a problem of a diver coming close, but if you show interest, they always turn the back and not the face to you. That's why I tried to swim 0.5m above the fish and showing no interest at all to him. The same time I had my camera not in front of me, but below at my chest pointing to the bottom. When the right moment had come, I turned the camera 90 degrees to the front and just point and shoot, hoping to have the fish in focus. Never expected to have its beautiful lips that close!


kangaroos fighting

© Lea Scaddan / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Lea Scadden of Australia photographed these kangaroos in Perth.

Two Western Grey Kangaroos were fighting and one missed kicking him in the stomach.

"Monday Morning Mood"

pied starling

© Andrew Mayes / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Andrew Mayes of South Africa shot this grumpy-looking pied starling in South Africa.

I took this shot while photographing a group of Pied starlings perched in a tree at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa. It perfectly sums up my mood on most Monday mornings :)

"Houston - we've got a problem!"

kingfisher with fish

© Txema Garcia Laseca / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Txema Garcia Laseca of Spain captures this Amazon kingfisher with his surprised dinner in Pantanal, Brazil.

This fish is astonished when has been trapped for a fisher bird.


happy penguins

© Tom Svensson / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Tom Svensson of Sweden photographed this penguins in the Falklands.

These penguins was surfing on the waves on to land and looked so happy each time.

"Yoga Bittern"

bittern on flower stems

© KT Wong / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

KT Wong of Singapore thought perhaps this was a bittern doing yoga.

A Yellow Bittern was trying very hard to get into a comfortable hunting position. I got this shot when it was between 2 stalks of lotus flower.

"Yay - It's Friday!"

springbok pronking

© Lucy Beveridge / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2021

Lucy Beveridge of Spain shot this image in South Africa.

A young springbok, all ears and spindly legs, caught in midair while pronking as the sun started to rise over the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. There's not much information on why the Springbok pronk but some theories suggest it is a way of showing fitness and strength to ward off predators and attract mates. It has also been said that this small, dainty and largely unappreciated antelope also pronks out of excitement, jumping for joy!