Prepare for involuntary chortling ... the finalists in the 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have been announced. Among the selected finalists – shortlisted from thousands of entries submitted by amateurs and professionals from across the globe – is a kangaroo jamming on an air guitar, a swan selfie and a flossing beaver. 

A brown bear in Finland who definitely did everything to make me pay attention to him and focus on him and not the other bears. Image © Dikla Gabriely / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

Co-founded in 2015 by professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards focuses on the lighter side of wildlife photography, but also plays an important role in promoting conservation.

The winning images will be decided upon by a panel of expert judges that includes TV presenter Kate Humble; actor and comedian Hugh Dennis; world-renowned wildlife photographers Daisy Gilardini and Will Burrard-Lucas; wildlife expert and co-founder of The Born Free Foundation Will Travers OBE; Ashley Hewson, the Managing Director of Serif, makers of Affinity Photo; Celina Dunlop, picture editor extraordinaire; underwater film and diving aficionado Luke Inman and Bella Lack, a passionate young conservationist. 

The photo was taken late in the evening at 6:30 PM in low light in the Masai Mara near the “Saparingo Swamp”. And we actually had to go back to the camp because it was already getting dark, when this young lion jumped on the old tree trunk (which was also a perfect backdrop for other shots) and made this funny scene. Image © Christian Hargasser / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

The public also has a chance to get involved by voting for their favourite shot in the Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award (you can vote here).  

Here's a look at some of the finalists in this year's competition:

A white-winged dove appearing to fly head-on into a cholla cactus skeleton. Image © Wendy Kaveney / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Even beavers floss before and after every meal! Image © Jorn Vangoidtsenhoven / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
"I was driving past a mob of Western Grey Kangaroos feeding in an open field that was filled with attractive yellow flowers. I had my camera with me, so I stopped to grab a few photos. I suddenly noticed this individual adopt a humorous pose - to me it looks like he's practising strumming on his air guitar." Image © Jason Moore / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
I know it isn't a bird and technically it does not have the faculty of flight ... but, you cannot fault this leopard's effort to get airborne. Actually she was being bothered by three young cheetahs, and in particularly poor temper as the pose indicates. Image © Paul Goldstein  / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
While I was working deep in the Virginian woods, a family of grey foxes took up residence under the deck of the abandoned cottage next to my work housing. One day while practicing their hunting skills on bits of moss and branches, one of the kits lunged at a small chunk of wood and started rolling around with his prize. Tired after his hunt the kit lounged on his belly still holding the wood in his mouth which gave the strong resemblance of a cigar. I was very envious of the kit at this moment cause who wouldn't want to just lay around all day relaxing. Image © Dakota Vaccaro / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
The photo shows a gray seal. I took it in November 2018 on the east coast of England. In late autumn, seals leave the North Sea to give birth to their young. Image © Adrian Slazok / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Now that's a selfie! Image © Jaroslaw Kolacz / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
The swamp turtle is surprised and smiles at the dragonfly resting on its nose. Image © Tzahi Finkelstein / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Sulawesi macaque reading news. Image © Matti Rauvala / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Dispute. Image © Jacek Stankiewicz / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
This picture was taken in the monkey forest in Ubud, Bali – a crazy place where monkeys are king! Sometimes they give a show, sometimes, they climb on you to look for fleas or steal the piece of biscuit you are trying to eat. Image © Delphine Casimir / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Relax, lay back and enjoy the warm sun ... Image © Kawing Chiu / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
A large group of gentoo penguins were returning from sea, when suddenly a lone chinstrap appeared among them. The gestures in this confrontation are so recognizable, it was easy to surmise their conversation going like this: “Are you sure my family didn't go this way?” “No, I told you they went that way!” Image © Jodi Frediani / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Took my time to watch a family of baboons at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya.  There were many funny interactions. In this photo, a mischievous baby baboon plays a game of 'catch me if you can' with its patient mother. Image © Benard Omwaka / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Taken at Westerfolds Park, a beautiful and surprisingly wild pocket of land in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, famous for its kangaroo population. The mob was enjoying some morning sunshine when this joey decided to get silly and try his hand at boxing. Image © Lara Mathews / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
The photo was taken in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India. This park is heaven for nature lovers. Image © Pratick Mondal / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
The lemur can't hold his emotions. Image © Sergey Savvi / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
This trip to the Seychelles was my first big trip after getting scuba certified. Caught this on one of the dives. Image © Danielle Goonan / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023