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Comedy Wildlife Photography Award winners highlight animals' lighter side

The yearly competition raises spirits and awareness for wildlife conservation issues.

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A prairie dog appears to be putting up a fight in this meeting with a bald eagle in the US. This image is one of the finalists in the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards competition.
Arthur Trevino/Comedywildlifephoto.com

If these photos are any proof, animals have their best and worst days too. Raccoons share secrets, fish are awed by their companion's ability to jump, a pigeon is defeated by a fallen leaf and a prairie dog faces down a bald eagle. There's a smile for every mood in this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards winners.

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The overall winner, "Ouch."

Ken Jensen/Comedywildlifephoto.com

The top prize, unveiled this week, went to the Ken Jensen's photo "Ouch," which shows a golden silk monkey in China that's apparently taken a painful fall. The position is actually a display of aggression but looks like a scene out of a slapstick comedy.

The awards are intended to raise awareness for wildlife conservation issues and illustrate the connection between humans and animals, though they take a lighter approach than other efforts.

"The deluge of images of animals and habitats in peril can be hard to digest," the awards' team writes on its website. "The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards' content accesses our empathy by showing how alike we really are. You don't need to cover your eyes or look away. We want our viewers to share our enjoyment of nature and take the time to recognise its value."

You can view some of this year's finalists here, and this and past year's winners on the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards website. If the awards team has its way, you'll both laugh and consider the conservation challenges facing wildlife the world over.

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Life comes at this pigeon a bit too fast in one of the winning photos in this years Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

John Speirs/Comedywildlifephoto.com