PHOTOS: ‘Not so cat-like reflexes’: See the winner, finalists of The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards winner 2022 Jennifer Hadley Raleigh - "Not so cat-like reflexes" - This 3 month old cub and his sibling were in a tree. The other lionesses were in other trees and on the ground. He wanted to get down and walked all over the branches looking for the right spot and finally just went for it. It was probably his first time in a tree and his descent didn't go so well. He was just fine though after landing on the ground. He got up and ran off with some other cubs. Animal: Lion Location of shot: Serengeti Tanzania (©Jennifer Hadley Raleigh/Comedy Wildlife 2022, ©Jennifer Hadley Raleigh/Comedy Wildlife 2022)

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards has named its overall winner of this year’s competition: Jennifer Hadley, for her classic photograph of a lion cub losing its grip on a tree trunk entitled “Not so cat-like reflexes.”

The shot also won the Creatures of the Land category. “Up against 5,000 incredible entries from over 85 countries around the world, Jennifer’s image fought off fierce competition in the closest voting ever!” a news release about the competition read. “The image was captured in the Serengeti, Tanzania, when Jennifer managed to capture that moment a young 3-month-old cub tries to descend from a tree, and it didn’t go so well. ‘It was probably his first time in a tree’ Jennifer said of the image ‘and he decided to just go for it.’ And luckily for us, Jenn as the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Jennifer wins a once in a lifetime safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya, with Alex Walker’s Serian plus a unique handmade trophy from the Wonder Workshop in Tanzania and a fantastic photography bag from THINK TANK.”

“I think part of what makes this contest great is that most of these photos probably happen by complete accident and that was certainly the case with the lion cub falling out of the tree,” Hadley said. “It was very late in the afternoon and so I had my aperture as open as possible to capture the most light possible with my shutter down lower than I would have liked but I figured with the cub walking around in the tree, I didn’t really need the speed. It didn’t even occur to me that he would make a go of getting down by himself in the most un-cat like fashion. I mean, how often do cats fall out of trees? The gasp that emanated from our vehicle was palatable. No one expected this to happen and of course we were concerned for his safety but happily as cats do, he righted himself just in time and landed on all fours and ran off with his siblings. A happy ending for a hapless kitty who didn’t quite know how to get down from a tree.”

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards was founded in 2015 by Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, according to the organization, and described as a competition for “both professional photographers and passionate conservationists and is a global, online and free to enter photography competition, showcasing seriously funny images of the earth’s most amazing wildlife. In addition to providing some light-hearted relief and joy, the competition aims to highlight the extremely important message of wildlife conservation in an engaging and positive way, championing the work of charity partner.”

Take a look at some of the other highly commended winners:

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 John Chaney Houston United States Title: Fight Back Description: This salmon decide to punch the bear in the face rather than be lunch. Animal: Bear Location of shot: Alaska (John D. Chaney)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Federica Vinci Fasano Italy Title: Monkey wellness center Description: Walking near a cambodian temple where groups of wild monkeys lived, I came across this scene: a wild monkey in total relax, while its friend was taking care of it. Animal: Monkey Location of shot: Cambodia, Baphuon Temple (© Federica Vinci/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Martin Grace Kendal United Kingdom Title: Keep calm and keep your head Description: Two King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) at Volunteer Point in the Falklands. The right hand bird may have an inscrutable expression but it must be wondering where its mate's head has gone. Perhaps it is a Rudyard Kipling scholar: 'If you can keep your head when all about you. Are losing theirs and blaming it on you ... Animal: King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) Location of shot: Volunteer Point, East Falkland (©Martin Grace/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Michael Eastwell Southampton United Kingdom Title: It's all kicking off! Description: Apart from its beauty, Cape Hillsborough is renowned for its resident kangaroos and wallabies. I visited the area for three consecutive sunrises, but it was on my final morning that I captured this beautiful spectacle, two wallabies playing / fighting on the beach as the sun burst through the surrounding clouds. Animal: Wallabies Location of shot: Cape Hillsborough, Queensland (MICHAEL ANTHONY EASTWELL)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Mark Schocken Tampa United States Title: Tight Fit! Description: 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. Animal: Eastern Screech Owl and Owlet Location of shot: Largo, Florida, USA (©Mark Schocken/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Ryan Sims Kirkland United States Title: Excuse Me... Pardon Me! Description: A duckling walking/waddling across a turtle covered log at the Juanita wetlands, the duckling fell off after a few turtle crossings, it was cute. Animal: a duckling and turtles Location of shot: Juanita Bay Park, Lake Washington, Kirkland, WA (©Ryan Sims Kirkland/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Emmanuel Do Linh San Grahamstown South Africa Title: "I'm gonna strangle you!" Description: I 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. In the photo that I have selected, there is no aggression between individuals, but rather an interaction that reminds us of humans when one of your friends jokes about you and you pretend to strangle them and, in response, they open their mouth like a simpleton :-) Animal: Meerkats or suricates (Suricata suricatta) Location of shot: Kalahari Trails Game Reserve, South Africa (© Emmanuel Do Linh San/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Alex Pansier OSS Netherlands Title: Jumping Jack Description: A red squirrel jumps during a rainstorm, so you can see the drops flying around. Animal: Red Squirrel Location of shot: The Netherlands, Maashorst (© Alex Pansier/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 JAGDEEP RAJPUT DELHI India Title: Pegasus, the flying horse. Description: Actually this is Indian Saras Crane attacking a Bluebull from behind, the bull happened to venture close to Saras's nest, where in, it had laid a single egg. The Saras Crane, which is tallest flying bird in the world, opened it's huge wings and attacked the bull from behind, driving the bull away from the nest. Animal: Bluebull and Indian saras Crane. Location of shot: Keoladeo National Park, India. (@Jagdeep RAJPUT)
I photographed raccoon on a Florida beach, where I fed him shrimps. Then he thanked me like that. (©SRB Miroslav/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Arshdeep Singh Jalandhar City India Title: I CU boy ! Description: Few hundred miles away we went to explore wildlife of a small town named ‘Bikaner’. It was after almost a year I travelled because of covid. We hired a guide to explore places around. During last day of our trip we came across a pipe in a city where we spotted an owlet. I have earlier clicked owls in a pipe before so I was sure that I wasn’t mistake. We waited for a short while and it didn’t take a long time and one of the spotted owlet came out of the pipe. It was really funny when he came out and looked at me straight, before going inside he closed one of his eyes and felt like he wanted to say I CU boy ! and I immediately snapped a picture when he gave this pose. Animal: Spotted Owlet Location of shot: Bikaner, India (©Arshdeep Singh/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Jennifer Hadley Raleigh United States Title: Talk To The Fin! Description: 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. Animal: Gentoo Penguin Location of shot: Falkland Islands (©Jennifer Hadley/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Jean-Jacques Alcalay-Marcon Montmeyran France Title: Misleading african viewpoints 2 Description: Hippo yawning next to a heron standing on the back of another hippo Animal: Hippo Location of shot: Kruger National Park, South Africa (©Jean-Jacques Alcalay/Comedy Wildlife 2022)
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2022 Arthur Telle Thiemann Telde Spain Title: "Say cheeeese" Description: A couple of triggerfish looking into the camera, captured at the Azores. Even they may look funny, these fish can be quite aggressive. In this case they didn't attempt to bite me, but the domeport of my camera housing ended up with some scratches... life is hard... at least it wasn't me who was hurt Animal: Grey triggerfish, Ballistes capriscus Location of shot: Faial, Azores (©Arthur Telle Thiemann/Comedy Wildlife 2022)

What’s your favorite image? Let us know in the comments. (We’re especially fond of the owl.) 🤣

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.