Culture Art & Media Madcap Antics Ensue in These Wildlife Comedy Photos By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated October 11, 2018 ©. Mary McGowan / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Share Twitter Pinterest Email Culture History Travel Sustainable Fashion Art & Media Holidays Community Conservation shows its funny side with this year’s finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Given how reckless homo sapiens are proving to be when it comes to nature and wildlife, conservation photography is usually a somewhat serious affair. Of course, cute works wonders, but a lot of wildlife photography focuses on the poignant and majestic. Lone polar bears on a drift of iceberg, a lion in the wind on the savannah, the puppy dog eyes of a seal. Finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are not like that. In fact, they kind of spin the whole genre on its head, showing our planet’s cohabitants in the funniest of scenarios. The awards were started by wildlife photographers Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks – who produce the contest along with the wonderful Born Free Foundation – in an effort to shine a light on the importance of conserving our planet’s incredible wildlife. Approaching such a serious issue through humor feels like a fabulously fresh approach. As noted on the contest website, the competition was created to address "a need for a photography competition that was light hearted, upbeat, possibly unpretentious and mainly about wildlife doing funny things." And adding that secondly, "and way more importantly, this competition is about conservation." The following is just a mere sampling of the 41 finalists. The winner will be announced on November 15 – and in the meantime, the public has a chance to weigh in and vote for the Affinity People’s Choice Award (more on that below). © Shane Keena / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Geert Weggen / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Patty Bauchman / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Jonathon Irish / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Jakob Strecker / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Bartek Olszewski / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Sergey Savvi / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Danielle D'Ermo / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards © Muriel Vekemans / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards The mechanics behind much of the humor is that the non-human animals are displaying behavior that looks decidedly human. And in turn, makes these creatures all seem so relatable. In the funniest photos, we all think, “Oh yes, I’ve been there too.” It doesn’t get more endearing than that – and endearment leads to compassion. And that’s where conservation begins. To see all the photos and vote for your favorite, visit the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – and visit the Born Free Foundation for more about the important work they are doing on behalf of wildlife. AND ... there is a book! See more here: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Vol. 2.