Wildlife photography doesn't always have to showcase animals at their best. Since 2015 the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards has provided a home for all those chuckle-worthy shots of dopey looking owls and 'dancing' monkeys. The finalists for the 2021 edition of the contest have just been released and they certainly don't disappoint.

See who jumps high
Mudskipper © Chu han lin/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

"We were overwhelmed with the number and quality of entries we received this year, with well over 7,000 photos submitted from every corner of the globe," Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE, co-founder of the popular awards, stated in a press release. "It was an amazing turnout, especially given the impact of the pandemic. The huge number of images we receive every year illustrates the appetite there is to engage with conservation and reminds us that wildlife truly is incredible and hilarious and we must do all we can to protect it." 

This year's mix of entries – the greatest diversity of species seen in the competition to date – include a 'laughing' vine snake from India, a trio of 'singing' mudskippers from Taiwan, and a kangaroo performing a picture-perfect Pavarotti impersonation in Australia. 

Founded by professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, the contest showcases the lighter side of the natural world and aims to promote wildlife conservation through humour. This year, 10% of the total net revenue from the competition will be donated to Save Wild Orangutans – an initiative that safeguards orangutans in and around Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo.

The public also have a chance to pick the snap they find most amusing in the People's Choice Awards – a hotly contested accolade decided upon by public vote (you can make your selection on the Comedy Wildlife Awards website). "Whittling down the list of photographs was harder than ever this year," Tom Sullam said in a statement. "It was great to see a range of animals, from the incredibly rare to the humble pigeon. We can’t wait to see what the public choose as their favourite."

Here are a few of our top picks from this year's contest:

Proboscis Monkey © Jakub Hodan/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Dancing Away to Glory
Langurs © Sarosh Lodhi/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Mr. Giggles
Grey seal © Martina Novotna/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Did I say you could take my picture?
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet © Patrick Dirlam/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
I got you
Gophers © Roland Kranitz/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
How do you get that damn window open?
Raccoon © Nicolas de Vaulx/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Welcome to Nature!
Red damselfly © Mattias Hammar/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
'I guess summer's over'
Pigeon © John Speirs/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Smoked deer for dinner
Tiger © Siddhant Agrawal/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Monkey riding a giraffe
Monkey/Giraffe © Dirk-Jan Steehouwer/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Shaking Off 2020
Brown Pelican © Dawn Wilson/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Quarantine life
Raccoon © Kevin Biskaborn/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Operatic warm ups
Kangaroo © Lea Scaddan/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Time for school
Smooth-coated otter © Chee Kee Teo/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Ninja prairie dog!
Bald eagle/prairie dog © Arthur Trevino/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Leaning post
Brown Bear © Andy Parkinson/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Laughing snake
Vine snake © Aditya Kshirsagar/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards