Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – Welcome Into (wild and funny) life!
Wildlife can be hilarious, as the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards prove each year. Unveiled in November, the winners of the fifth edition offer a series of snapshots of animals captured in original, often surprising postures. Guaranteed to make you laugh, and often moving, these offbeat images remind us of the diversity of nature and the absolute need to protect wildlife species.
Some 4,000 entries from 68 countries were submitted to the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The best 15 photos selected by the judges show wild animals in spontaneous poses in their natural habitat. 1st prize was awarded to the photographer Sarah Skinner for her cheekily entitled photo « Grab life by the…! », which perfectly captures a lion cub frolicking in Chobe National Park in Botswana. The People’s Choice Award went to Harry Walker for « Oh my… », his photo of a sea otter holding its head between its forepaws, as though in amazement.
Two wildlife photographers based in Tanzania, Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks, are behind the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Their goal was to inspire a quirky new approach to wildlife conservation by adding a touch of comedy to their mission. « The competition grew out of a simple desire: to show wildlife at its funniest, show that these incredible animals can amuse us, entertain us and ultimately make us realize that we share this planet with them, » explained Tom Sullam, co-founder of the competition and head judge, when the winners were announced.
« What can each of us do at home to become a protector of fauna? » That’s the question that pervades this year’s edition of the competition, to encourage people to start taking concrete steps after being entertained by the funny photos. For example:
- Shop responsibly and stop buying products that pollute nature (non-recyclable waste), destroy natural habitats (palm oil, global warming) or exploit wild animals (fur, ivory, and so on).
- Restrict water use: having shorter showers, watering your garden less, etc. helps save lakes and rivers and gives forests and plants – which are refuges and sources of food for land-based fauna – the chance to prosper.
- Become a “Wild Influencer”. Without being a mega activist, you can encourage your family, friends and colleagues to become conservationists by doing some of the simple things mentioned above.
”I can only hope and encourage everyone, as a collective to each do our part in the conservation of all wildlife species, so that future generations can enjoy them, in the same way that I have done during my career as a wildlife photographer. Long may lions walk the plains…”
Sarah Skinner, Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Keep Wildlife in the Wild!
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are organised in conjunction with the charity « Born Free », whose motto is “Keep Wildlife in the Wild ». This NGO works tirelessly to preserve and protect wild animals in their natural habitats and opposes the exploitation of wild animals in captivity. It also rescues vulnerable wild animals from appalling captive conditions – rehabilitating them in its sanctuaries, helping them become autonomous again and, whenever possible, releasing them back into the wild.
Photo credit image header : ©Marion Volborn / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019