Since the birth of the selfie (and, well, the planet) we humans have been exploiting animals. From duck lips to the Snapchat dog filter to making bunny ears with our fingers, we are all guilty.
But the time has come for animals to re-claim their identity, with the birth of the Comedy Pet Photography Awards, which celebrates goofy animals in all their glory.
This year’s competition attracted 2,500 entries from 73 different countries, and every single one is a must-see for animal lovers…
Images often played tricks on the mind – such as this blue wildebeest who appears to be standing on his peers’ backs, when he’s actually just standing on a mound.
Entries flooded in from Uganda, Mexico, Kazakhstan and New Zealand, as proud pet owners and photographers battled for the $2,680 prize money – and, the glory.
Other images relied purely on the animal’s hilarious facial expressions, such as these two mudskippers singing their hearts out on tidal mudflats in Krabi, Thailand.
And check out this young elephant seal looking particularly shocked at his friend’s revelation in George Cathcart’s “WTF?!”.
The competition, which is partnered with the Animal Welfare Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States, highlights just how innocent and genuine animals are, whilst also encouraging pet owners to cherish their furry friends.
Explaining the message behind the competition, the Comedy Pet Photography Awards write on their website:
“We love our pets. All of us involved in this competition are totally in love with our animals. With this in mind we are really keen that when we enjoy loads of wonderful funny pet photos, we also use this superb opportunity to encourage us all to be better ‘owners’ if you can call us that, ‘parents’ perhaps, to the creatures in our care.”
The competition hopes to use its platform to spread the message that animal welfare is still, and always will be, a prominent topic up for discussion:
“The whole subject of animal welfare is overwhelming. Just when we think we are getting on top of something you suddenly realise that ten other problems spring to mind. In the world of pets, even in countries that see themselves as leaders in welfare there are many problems we need to tackle.”
The competition, which includes awards for ”Pets Who Look Most Like Their Owners”, ran for the first time this year. But, despite this, thousands of people entered with the hope of being crowned the supreme winner of the funniest animal photo.
Another image shows a giraffe checking a plane’s safety in Graeme Guy’s “Outsourcing Seatbelt Checks” – taken in Masai Mara, Kenya.
After much careful deliberation from the judges, such as wildlife star Kate Humble, the overall winner of the competition was Nando Harmsen from the Netherlands, who submitted this amusing snap…
Tom Sullam, African landscape photographer and founder of the awards, was overwhelmed by the support the event received, especially from those with little to no photography training:
“Although some images had been shot on smartphones most of them were sharp and well composed and, as photographers, both Paul and I were thrilled to see so much quality from entrants using non-professional photographic equipment!”
Whilst thousands entered, thousands more have viewed the amusing photographs which are now, understandably, going viral. After all, who can resist animals in their purest form?
Just like this baby dormouse pictured on the top of a yarrow flower in Monticelli Brusati, Italy – have you ever seen such joy!?
So, it is safe to say that the message of animal welfare is being received loud and clear across the globe. But, the prospect of entering next year’s competition is also stirring mass interest with animal lovers who cannot wait to showcase their perfect pets!
In fact, for those of us who are blessed to have animals in our life, we likely already have a camera roll full of peculiar pictures that we have snapped haplessly as and when the perfect moment arises – which, lets face it, is all the time as animals are nature’s jokers.
If you are an animal lover, have your eyes peeled for next year’s competition, which promises to be a real explosion of hysterical snaps that will give you plenty of reasons to smile. Or, why not be a part of it and enter next year’s competition?
Remember: A pet is for life, not just for a photography award. So, if you don’t already have a pet, but want to partake, why not head down to your local dog shelter and volunteer to walk them? But don’t forget to share your prize money if you win!
Still desperate for more animal goodness? This video gives brings you the best of our furry friends: