By Crystal Chung @crystalchung

The Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2016 are in full swing - with hundreds of hilarious photos being sent in from around the world

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Videographer / director: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Producer: Crystal Chung, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Marcus Cooper

Last year’s competition featured 1,502 entries from 52 different countries

Last year’s competition featured 1,502 entries from 52 different countries, with highlights including a laughing seal, a tumbling leopard and a gorilla picking its nose - all beautifully photographed with perfect comedy timing and a strong conservation message.

Two owls spot photographer Barb D'Arpino capturing a comedic photo of them

Among the best early entries this year are photos of a cheetah appearing to find something hilarious, a gorilla caught in an unfortunate position, and a baby elephant face-planting the ground.

Love is in the air as adorable monkeys have a smooch

The panel of judges is comprised of wildlife experts and household names and includes comedian Hugh Dennis, wildlife TV presenter Kate Humble, African landscape photographer Tom Sullam, and wildlife photographer and Comedy Wildlife Awards founder Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE.

All photos hold perfect comedy timing and a strong conservation message
A majestic lion appears to find something hilarious

Judge, Tom Sullam said: “The essence of the competition is to raise awareness of the wildlife that we live with. Comedy is an essential part of our lives, and there are thousands of occasions when pets and wild animals alike behave in a funny manner.”

The panel of judges is comprised of wildlife experts and household names

Working alongside international wildlife charity The Born Free Foundation, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards hopes to share with the public the true playfulness of the animal kingdom. However, there is a serious message behind the competition to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment for the world’s creatures.

An cute baby elephant photographed by Markus Pavlowsky face-plants the ground

Sullam explained: “One of the key aspects of our competition, apart from enjoying wildlife doing funny things, is to highlight the tragic state of many wildlife species around the world and to create awareness for conservation issues, which is why we have a wonderful partnership with the Born Free Foundation. We will be sharing revenue with the Born Free Foundation as well as promoting their incredible work.”

Working with The Born Free Foundation, the competition hopes to share with the public the true playfulness of the animal kingdom

Austria’s Julian Rad won the competition last year with his memorable shot of a chubby- cheeked hamster running towards the camera.

The competition hopes to highlight the tragic state of many wildlife species

The deadline for entries is October 1st 2016 and the overall winner will receive a stunning photographic safari holiday consisting of seven nights in Kenya's Masai Mara, courtesy of Alex Walker’s Serian, whose intimate safari camps are among the best in Africa.

The deadline for entries is October 1st 2016 and the overall winner will receive a stunning photographic safari holiday

The winner also receives return flights to Kenya from the UK courtesy of Kenya Airways, and a Nikon D810 body and 24-120mm f/4G ED VR AF-S NIKKOR lens.

To be in with a chance to win you can enter the competition for free through the website www.comedywildlifephoto.com