The aim for most wildlife photographers is to capture animals at their most majestic or graceful. But, just like us, wild animals can be goofy and brilliantly awkward at the best of times. It's the lighter side of nature that sparked the creation of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, a competition with a mission to use humour to make conservation messages more accessible.

"I've got a space suit and a helmet and one day I'll fly to the moon! But only when it's banana shaped". This sweet little Japanese snow monkey ran around after he had rolled in the snow. © Roie Galitz / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019

"Our strong belief here at Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is that the smallest thing can help conservation," co-founder of the competition Tom Sullam explained to Forbes. "In 20 years, some researchers estimate that elephants may well be gone from East Africa. Lions would be the next to follow. It’s pretty grim reading, so ultimately we think the smallest snowflake could help turn into the biggest snowball. We just need to create lots of snowflakes!"

Now in its fifth year, the competition is judged by an impressive panel of wildlife experts, photographers and comedians, including TV presenter Kate Humble, actor and comedian Hugh Dennis, wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, and wildlife expert and co-founder of The Born Free Foundation Will Travers OBE. 

Through a collection of photos that already includes a "farting" penguin and an owl that appears to be caught in a fit of laughter, the organisers hope to spread an important message about conservation in the home. They encourage people everywhere to shop responsibly and cut down on un-recyclable products, conserve water, and become a "wild influencer" to help promote positive environmental practices among your friends and family.

Here are our favourite entries from the competition so far:

What's up?! Two young burrowing owlets are curious about the photographer. © Robert Palmer / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
Stop tickling - I surrender! "These hugely impressive sea otters were completely at ease and interacting with each other with characteristic otter playfulness. Feeding on crabs together, these two still found time for a tickle fight to decide who got the juiciest crab for dinner! An enchanting and amusing memory, from an unforgettable wildlife experience." © Andy Harris / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
Either penguins are working on a new form of jet propulsion, or someone has a little gas. This penguin was standing in the water all by himself when the water started churning, then turned to splashing and then full eruption. When it was all done, the penguin looked around and carried on with the rest of his day. © Eric Keller / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
Diva Duck. This lucky shot looks likes the duck is stopping in mid air to fix his hair. © David Steeves / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
The photographer at work. © Bob Riach / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
"In Alaska this past summer, we were watching brown bears catching salmon out of a small river. This young juvenile had a very successful morning and walked over next to us and plopped down with a full stomach. Over the next 10 minutes he went through a hilarious range of emotions – from hiding his face from the light of day and completely passing out, to giving us a "diva" look and his overall face of satisfaction. We were all laughing away as he looked like we normally do after Thanksgiving dinner." © Eric Fisher / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
Every family is the same: dad tells off the kids – they stand to attention but deep down they are rolling their eyes. © Nicola Beyfus / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
A snowy owl makes a cute pose and face as he perches in the sand at Jones Beach, Long Island. © Vicki Jauron / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019
Deer? What deer? Shooting the red deer rut in Richmond Park, I noticed this deer covered in bracken. It's not unusual for them to adorn themselves with bracken and grass, but this one's taken it to extremes. © Mike Rowe / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019

If you have a photo or video clip that you think might tickle a funny bone or two, enter the competition here (entries close on June 30).