Get ready for giggles ... the finalists in this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have been announced. Among the images competing for the top prize is a shot of a soaring, superhero squirrel; an image of some downright sassy penguins; and more than one photo of bears doing chuckle-inducing bear things. These finalists have been carefully selected from thousands of entries submitted from professional and amateur photographers across the globe presenting the judges with an array of comical creatures.

Talk To The Fin!
This was shot on the Falkland Islands. These two gentoo penguins were hanging out on the beach when one shook himself off and gave his mate the snub.
Jennifer Hadley/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

"With so much going on in the world, we could all use a bumper dose of fun and laughter and this year’s finalists have definitely delivered that!" co-founder and professional photographer Tom Sullam stated in a press release. The contest was created by Sullam and fellow photographer Paul Joynson - Hicks MBE with the goal of highlighting the humorous side of nature while also raising awareness about the plight of wild species and spaces.

Each year, a sustainable conservation organisation is selected as a beneficiary of the competition with the aim of furthering conservation efforts. This year the Comedy Wildlife team are working with the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN), a UK charity that supports conservation leaders working in their home countries across the Global South. Over 29 years it has channelled £20 million ($23 million) to more than 200 conservationists in 80 countries.

Curtain call II
This black bear cub had a blast playing with a stick providing much entertainment for photographer Dave Shaffer.
Dave Shaffer/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022

The public also has a say in which image they find the funniest and can cast their votes in the Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award.

Here's a look at some of the 2022 finalists (more here).

It's all kicking off!
Apart from its beauty, Cape Hillsborough is renowned for its resident kangaroos and wallabies. Michael Eastwell visited the area for three consecutive sunrises, but it was on his final morning that he captured this beautiful spectacle: two wallabies playing/fighting on the beach as the sun burst through the surrounding clouds.
Michael Eastwell/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
A brown bear in Finland enjoying the local fare.
Valtteri Mulkahainen/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Pegasus, the flying horse
This nilgai, or blue bull as they are also known, ventured a bit too close to the nest of a Sarus crane where the bird was guarding a single egg. The crane stretched open its huge wings and attacked the bull from behind, driving it away from the nest.
Jagdeep Rajput/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
What shall I write next
“Most bear cubs do cub-like things, like follow mom around, nurse, and be generally cute. But this cub took it to another level of cuteness. She found an eagle feather and started to play with it for a good 10 minutes! As she danced and rolled with the feather, she held it in her mouth for a moment - as if she was thinking of what to write next! Cuteness overload!”
Torie Hilley/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
The Wink
An American red fox casually walked up to the edge of the woods and sat down, then turned around and gave a wink. Moments later, it disappeared into the trees.
Kevin Lohman/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Say cheeeese
They may look friendly, but these triggerfish can be quite aggressive. In this case they didn't attempt to bite photographer Arturo Telle Thiemann, but the dome port of his camera housing ended up with a few scratches.
Arturo Telle Thiemann/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Excuse Me... Pardon Me!
A duckling walking/waddling across a turtle covered log at the Juanita wetlands, the duckling fell off after a few turtle crossings.
Ryan Sims/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Stop and stare
“After hearing Borneo's borders would reopen again in April 2022 I couldn't wait to visit and photograph some of the weird and wonderful wildlife on the island. After two years with no tourists it seemed like the wildlife was just as shocked to see me as I was to see them. This young proboscis monkey watched in amazement as I cruised by on the Kinabatangan River.”
Andy Evans/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Tight Fit!
“I was going to see and photograph this eastern screech owl nest in a local park in Florida. One morning, a few days before the two owlets fledged, one owlet tried to squeeze into the nest hole with mom, maybe to see the outside world for the first time. It was hilarious and I was glad I was there that morning to photograph it. The moment lasted only a few seconds as mom didn't seem very happy with the arrangement. Check out the expression on her face."
Mark Schocken/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
I'm gonna strangle you!
Emmanuel Do Linh San was following a group of meerkats on foot in the Kalahari Trails Game Reserve, in South Africa. “Most individuals, including adults, were in a playful mood. It gave me a unique opportunity to capture very interesting and dynamic interactions between some members of the group."
Emmanuel Do Linh San/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
In the city of Abha in Saudia Arabia baboons often gather and use a variety of strategies to steal food from tourists.
Ahmed Alahmed/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Your picnic's mine!
“When this southern cassowary sat confidently down on a picnic blanket, it scared all of the picnickers away and started eating up the fish and chips that were laid out before it. I captured this photo just as this cassowary swallowed some food, lending the bird a cheeky and mischievously satisfied look! Cassowaries, touted as the ‘most dangerous bird in the world’, roam the beachfront of Etty Bay on most afternoons, raiding picnics and frightening many unaware tourists. Armed with dagger-like claws, and often being territorial and aggressive towards intruders, cassowaries command respect and most people keep a safe distance from them.”
Lincoln Macgregor/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
Jumping Jack
Alex Pansier froze the action at just the right moment to capture this red squirrel jumping into the air during a rainstorm.
Alex Pansier/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022
A pair of lappet-faced vultures show off their plumage in unison.
Saverio Gatto/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022