Talk to the flipper! The Comedy Wildlife Photo Award finalists
From a shy raccoon waving hello, to a penguin that's had enough of its friend's squawking, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Award finalists have again delivered a most entertaining array of hilarious animal antics.
Founded in 2015 by wildlife photographer Paul Johnson-Hicks, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards has a firm focus on promoting conservation and sustainability. Johnson-Hicks felt the vast majority of wildlife conservation imagery was negative and depressing, which he believes actually hinders our ability to empathize with the plight of animals.
"A funny animal photo is incredibly effective because there are no barriers to understanding, or taboos that must be negotiated," the contest's website explains. "It taps into the impulse for anthropomorphism which is well-documented as one of the most powerful triggers for human empathy. To really understand animals and the issues that affect them, you need to empathise with them as fellow inhabitants of the same planet."
This year's shortlist certainly fulfills the criteria for goofy animal behavior as we see a meerkat lazily strangle his friend or one monkey tenderly massage another. This shortlist of finalists was selected from thousands of entries and the winner will receive a week-long safari in Kenya.
A diverse judging panel has been recruited to selected the winners, including several award-winning comedians, professional wildlife photographers and conservation project founders. The winners will be announced later this year.
Take a look through our gallery at some highlights from this year's incredible finalists.