Launched in 2015, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is a UK-based contest that honors the funniest animal photos of the year, while also raising awareness for conservation efforts through a partnership with Born Free, a foundation that protects endangered species.
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According to organizers, this year's installment drew the strongest and deepest crop of submissions yet — approximately 3500 total, spread across 86 countries.
And the rules are pretty simple: Entrants have to take the pictures themselves, the subjects can't be domesticated, and photos can't be digitally enhanced or touched up with software like Photoshop.
Oh, and according to the terms & conditions, you have to agree that Queen's "'Bohemian Rhapsody' [is] one of the greatest pieces of popular music ever written." (Did we mention that the founders are British?)
Finalists, like the hero image above, were announced earlier in the year, and now, with the 2017 winding to a close, the winners have been revealed.
Peep 'em out below!
"Slap" by Troy Mayne
"Eh, What's Up Doc?" by Oliver Colle
"Monkey Escape" by Katy Laveck-Foster
"Hitching A Ride" by Daisy Gilardini
"Animal Encounters" by Jean Jacques Alcalay
"Mudskippers Got Talent" by Daniel Trim
"Must Have Three-Putted" by Douglas Croft
"Duck Speed" by John Threlfall
"Cheering Sea Otter" by Penny Palmer
"WTF" by George Cathcart
The contest's top honor went to photographer Tibor Kércz for this ridiculous sequence capturing a less than graceful owlet slipping off a branch while his mates look on. (I've been this owl, you've been this owl, we've all been this owl.)
In an interview with Gizmodo, Kércz revealed that he caught the clumsy birds settling onto the branch just before dusk. He loves participating, saying it "[gives us the] chance to show people how funny and lovable these cute creatures are".
To see more hilarious wildlife pics, including the honorees from 2015 and 2016, visit the contest's website and follow the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Which image do you think delivers the most LOLs? Share your opinions in the comments below!