Award Winning Images Capture the Goofiness of the Animal Kingdom

Enjoy these masterpieces in animal silliness

The one image comes from the winner of the amazing internet portfolio prize entitled "Help." Tibor Kercz/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
Two bears are caught in the act in this highly commended image. Bence Mate/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
This laughing doormouse chuckled its way into the winning spot of the "On the Land" category. Andrea Zampatti/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
Penguins are lining up and ready for church in this highly commended competition winner. Carl Henry/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
This little baby is hitching a ride in this highly commended image. Daisy Gilardini/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
"WTF" George Cathcart/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
The winner of "In the Air" category is entitled "duck speed." John Threlfall/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
This image entitled "must have three-putted" won highly commended in the competition. Douglas Croft/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
A wildebeest gets a leg up on the crowd in Masai Mara, Kenya in this highly commended image entitled "Animal Encounters." Jean Jacques Alcalay/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
These monkeys are having some fun in Indonesia in this highly commended image. Katy Laveck-Foster/Comedy Wildlife Photos Awards
Winner of the "Under the Sea" category is entitled "slap." Troy Mayne/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards
This little sea otter seems to be cheering for joy in this highly commended image. Penny Palmer/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

Armed with their cameras and a passion for animals, wildlife photographers strive to capture the beauty and majesty of the natural world. And while beauty and majesty are great, sometimes you just want to see a fox pooping in the hole of a golf course. Now, as Rebecca Hersher reports for NPR, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is here to fill that desire. They've announced the winners of its 2017 competition, capturing the animal kingdom in all its goofiness.

The project’s mission is simple: to stage a competition that is “light hearted, upbeat, possibly unpretentious and mainly about wildlife doing funny things.” Contest organizers also hope that the winning images of hilarious and adorable animals will inspire people to “talk about the dire need for us all to be conservationists in our own little way.”

Submissions come from both professional photographers and amateurs. Entries are judged based on their technical composition and the hilarity of their captions. I must say, however, that sometimes no captions are needed

Many of this year’s winners and finalists are masterpieces in silliness. Like the one of baby polar bear grabbing onto its mom’s butt. Or another of three penguins waddling towards a church on South Georgia Island (caption: “All Dressed Up and Ready for Church”). Or this dramatic photo of two bears doing the deed against the backdrop of a midnight sky.

But the best photos are arguably the ones that elicit a strong anthropomorphic response.

Who among us hasn’t experienced the unbridled joy that seems to light up the face of this little dormouse? Haven’t we all, at one point or another, wanted to swipe aside an annoying interlocutor? I spend most of my life feeling the way this seal looks.

The overall winning entry, snapped by Tibor Kercz, consists of a series of four images depicting three little owls. In the first photo, two of the owls sit on a branch while the third scrambles desperately to climb on. In the second image, the owl has managed to join its buddies on the branch. But then it starts to fall. By the fourth photo, the owl is off the branch again, hanging on by a single foot. It is perhaps an apt metaphor for human existence; the floundering owl is all of us.

On a lighter note, enjoy this photo of two monkeys having the time of their lives on a bike.