We’ve all shared a funny animal picture or two, but most of us never stop to consider this question: When do the funny animals themselves get a little bit of recognition for their important work?
Now, they will: The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards honors hilarious animal pictures, and it’s just as much about the subject as it is about the photographer.
“The number and quality of the entries was fantastic,” says judge and British comedian Hugh Dennis. “The finalists should be very proud of themselves, as should the animals they photographed, simply for looking so funny. Sadly there is no way of telling them.”
Check out the winners below, and try not to smile.
First up, the honorable mentions. The following animals were given a “commendable” award for acts of supreme hilariousness in the animal kingdom. This guy is obviously proud of his award.
This bird has been searching for his big break for years, and finally got it.
To be honest, this owl isn’t really into awards, but he got one anyway.
This barrel of laughs certainly knows how to have a good time.
This guy couldn’t even contain himself when he found out.
This bird is the definition of “shocked and humbled.”
And these two knew they’d make it to the big time, as long as they had each other.
This little fellow couldn’t believe his luck.
And this wild feline did a handstand for the occasion.
Finally, this squirrel jumped for joy when he learned he’d been given an honorable mention.
So who were the top three winners? Well, in third place is this gorilla, who earned his medal by being adorable and slightly disgusting.
Second place went to this clown, who couldn’t even stop what he was doing to take a picture.
And finally, your 2015 Comedy Wildlife Photography Award first place winner: This ambitious hamster, with an entire week’s worth of meals in his cheeks.
The first prize photo was taken by Austrian photographer Julian Rad, who received a trophy and a 7-day Tanzanian safari for his work. Though it’s unconfirmed, rumor has it that the hamster got a new wheel for his mansion.