Our Burning Planet


Rock ‘n roo — it’s a wildly funny world when animals show their comedic side

Rock ‘n roo — it’s a wildly funny world when animals show their comedic side
Overall winner: 'Air Guitar Roo.' (Photo: © Jason Moore / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards offers some much-needed comic relief at the end of a long year. The winners and finalists were chosen from 5,300 entries from 85 countries across the world.

The competition was founded in 2015 by Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, professional photographers and passionate conservationists who had the vision to create a fun competition showcasing the comedic side of our planet’s quirky animals.

The overall winner, Jason Moore, bagged the grand prize with his image of a kangaroo titled “Air Guitar Roo”. The photo of the female western grey kangaroo was taken in the outer suburbs of Perth in Australia. “The shoot turned out to be a great session, and I am quite fond of several images that I captured,” says Jason.

“Not many people know that kangaroos are normally fairly docile and even a bit boring most of the time, if I’m honest. However, when I saw this roo striking the air guitar pose, it immediately brought a smile to my face, and I knew that I had captured something really special.”

His prizes include a handmade trophy from the Wonder Workshop in Tanzania, a ThinkTank camera bag and a trip to the Maasai Mara in Kenya, where he can put his wildlife photography skills to the test on African soil. DM

Highly commended: ‘Don’t Look Down.’ A puffin does an inverted Snoopy impression while watching jellyfish. (Photo: © Brian Matthews / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

Affinity Photo 2 People’s Choice Award. ‘Dispute.’ ‘I caught this scene while watching birds in the Bialowieza Forest. The young greenfinch was still fed by its parents. However, from time to time, the birds looked like they were having an argument. My friends interpret this scene in two ways. One, a young naughty kid is arguing with a parent. Two, one kid is reporting to the parent that its brother did something wrong: Look, he has broken the glass in the window.’ (Photo: © Jacek Stankiewicz / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

‘Look at Right, Bro.’ (Photo: © Pratick Mondal / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

Highly commended. Snowball: ‘These pictures were taken in Spitzbergen during a very cold winter. The white grouse looks like a snowball with eyes. (Photo: © Jacques Poulard / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

‘The Rainforest Dandy.’ (Photo: © Delphine Casimir)

‘The ground squirrel jumped as if he could fly. Unfortunately he has no wings. To his surprise he fell back to the ground.’ (Photo: © Timea Ambrus / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

Amazing Internet Portfolio Award: ‘I Finally Learned to Fly – or Maybe Not.’ (Photo: © Timea Ambrus / Comedy Wildlife 2023)

wildlife comedy

‘Monday Blahs.’ (Photo: © John Blumenkamp)

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.

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