These Are the Funniest Animal Photos of 2018

From penguin bullies to blissed-out squirrels, get an eyeful of the year's most humorous shots of animals, in a competition with a cause.

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Stop right there! This squirrel in Florida is giving you the right to remain silent.

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Just smile and wave, boys. A polar bear lifts its paw in what appears to be a friendly greeting.

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It wasn’t me, I swear! These king penguins were obviously not thrilled with the presence of a standoffish fur seal in South Georgia.

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A hippopotamus bites off more than it can chew in Maasai Mara, Kenya.

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May I have this dance? Two komodo dragons waltz in Sri Lanka.

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Are they still looking? A curious owl peeks up from the ground.

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This grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park was apparently having a bad hair day.

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A seal in South Georgia thinks all these photos are pretty funny, too.

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Caught in the act: Two mudskippers in Krabi, Thailand share an intimate moment.

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You lookin’ at me? A pair of deer are caught in a standoff in Richmond Park, United Kingdom.

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Years of gymnastics lessons finally paid off for one red squirrel in Sweden.

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Master of disguise: A sneaky female moose peers from behind a tree in Alberta, Canada.

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“After all these years he still makes me laugh,” says one lioness in Maasai Mara, Kenya.

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Wait, they said what? This sifaka lemur in Madagascar has a secret.

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A grizzly bear in Alaska looks out for the safety of oncoming drivers.

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She liked me first! Two gibbons in Kaeng Krachan, Thailand, are locked in epic battle.

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The tables are turned in Svalbard, Norway as this polar bear tries out its photography skills.

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Many wild animals are known for their majestic beauty, or perhaps their brave ferocity. We often see photos of them in their natural habitat locked in a battle for survival, or scavenging for a meal. Though this behavior is fascinating to see, nothing elicits the same simple joy as watching them, well, horse around.

That’s the idea behind The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, a competition currently in its fourth year of delivering funny photos of animals being silly. Founded by wildlife photographers and enthusiasts Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks, the competition isn’t all about fun and jokes. They work alongside the Born Free Foundation to highlight the importance of conserving our planet’s wildlife.

This year’s competition was flooded with thousands of entries, which Sullam and Joynson Hicks narrowed to 41 hilarious finalists. “In just three years this competition has gone from hilarious to utterly ridiculous humor—all provided by these fantastic animals,” Sullam says.

From adorably scrambling owls to penguin bullies and one very taken-aback fur seal, the finalists’ photos are the perfect respite. Click through the gallery above to see a few of our favorites. 

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