The 2022 winners of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have been announced, and they couldn’t be funnier or more adorable. The overall winner, titled “Not so cat-like reflexes,” shows a lion cub faceplanting into a tree trunk.
“No one expected this to happen and of course we were concerned for his safety but happily as cats do, he righted himself just in time and landed on all fours and ran off with his siblings,” photographer Jennifer Hadley was quoted as saying in the Facebook post accompanying the photo. “A happy ending for a hapless kitty who didn’t quite know how to get down from a tree.”
What Are The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards?
Paul Joynson-Hicks was a wildlife photographer living in East Africa who had an epiphany. A couple of photos he had captured of an eagle peering at the camera through its back legs and a warthog’s bottom made him laugh. He realized that this type of humorous photo could be a way to get people engaged with wildlife conservation. So, in 2015, he and co-founder Tom Sullam created the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
Every year, thousands of photos are submitted from around the world. There are five competition categories:
- The Alex Walker’s Serian Creatures of the Land Category
- The Spectrum Creatures in the Air Category
- The ThinkTank Photo Junior Category
- The Amazing Internet Portfolio Category
- The Underwater Category
- The Video Clip Category
Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Winners
Arturo Telle Thiemann won the 2022 Creatures Under the Sea Award with this picture of two triggerfish that seem to be posing for the camera, shared on the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Facebook page.
Other winning entries include a yawning hippo that looks like it might swallow a heron, a winking owl, a Cooper’s hawk playing soccer with a pine cone and this penguin that seems to be gesturing a friend to “talk to the fin.”
Prizes include a trophy, photography bags and even a one-week safari in Kenya. But perhaps knowing that the winners have helped promote wildlife conservation is the biggest reward.
“Our world is extraordinarily beautiful and interconnected, yet the human race is doing its best to over-exploit and damage it,” Joynson-Hicks said in a statement. “Issues of wildlife conservation and sustainability are gaining momentum globally, yet the messages and images tend to be negative, depressing and enervating.”
You can check out all the winners on the competition website, but you might also want to browse the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Facebook page for some hilarious runners-up.