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Meet the comedians in the animal kingdom

Donna Coutts, September 16, 2020 6:45PM Kids News

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“I could puke”, Gentoo Penguin, Falkland Islands, a finalist of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Picture: © Christina Holfelder/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020 media_camera“I could puke”, Gentoo Penguin, Falkland Islands, a finalist of Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Picture: © Christina Holfelder/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020

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We won’t ever know if these animals are trying to be funny, but we do know they’re giving us lots of laughs.

Take this grumpy-faced turtle off the Queensland coast, for instance. Has he mastered a rude hand gesture? Or did the photographer just get lucky as the turtle waved his front flipper through the water, just going about his usual business, unaware he was on his way to being laughed at around the world? Either way, his portrait is now a finalist in the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

media_cameraThe 2020 Finalists for the Comedy Animal Awards, photographer: Mark Fitzpatrick, Terry the Turtle flipping the bird, Turtle, Lady Elliot Island, Queensland Australia

Among the other finalist photo subjects are a raccoon and its rather undignified* attempt to squeeze into its treetop hidey hole and a penguin who is feeling a bit peaky*, struggling to keep up on a journey across the ice with his mates.

These are just three of the 44 hilarious finalist photos in the international competition founded by two professional UK photographers who also happened to be passionate conservationists*.

Other finalists featured here are a photo-bombing giraffe from Namibia, a macaque at a Bali temple and a smiley parrotfish off the Canary Islands. Winners are announced next month. Which would you choose as the best overall?

media_cameraWait up Mommy, look what I got for you! Elephant, Kaziranga, India. Picture: © Kunal Gupta/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraAlmost time to get up, Raccoon, Newport News, VA, US Picture: © Charlie Davidson/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraTough negotiations, Fox, Israel. Picture: © Ayala Fishaimer/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraThe race, Langur, Hampi, India. Picture: © Yevhen Samuchenko/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraSmiley, Sparisoma cretense, El Hierro, Canary Islands. Picture: © Arthur Telle Thiemenn/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraI had to stay late at work, South sea elephant (Mirounga), Isla Escondida, Chubut, Patagonia Argentina. Picture: © Luis Burgue/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraCrashing into the picture, Giraffe, Etosha National Park, Namibia. Picture: © Brigitte Alcalay Marcon/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraCovid Hair, Reddish Egret, Fort Desoto, Florida, US. Picture: © Gail Bisson/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020
media_cameraHide and Seek, Azure Damselfly, Devon, UK. Picture: © Tim Hearn/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020

GLOSSARY

  • undignified: appearing foolish or awkward
  • peaky: pale and feeling ill
  • conservationists: people who work to conserve things, usually the environment

EXTRA READING

Great photos of animals interrupting humans’ sport

The most amazing wildlife photos of the year

Weird, wacky, wonderful nature photos

Meet the minibeasts crawling all over Earth

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Where was the turtle?
  2. What is the animal that is stuck with just its legs hanging out of the tree?
  3. Which country are the giraffes in?
  4. As well as being photographers, what else are the people who founded the competition?
  5. Where was the parrotfish photographed?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Pick the winners
You have been tasked with the honour of selecting the prize winners for this years Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. You need look carefully through the photos and select a photo to receive a prize for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Remember these awards are ‘Comedy Wildlife’ so ensure that you select the photos that you think are the funniest as your prize winners.

Give a reason why you have come up with your selection for First, second and third prize.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, The ARTS – Visual Arts, Critical and Creative thinking

2. Extension
Caption it!
Captions can help the audience see the funny aspects of the photographs.

For each photo come up with your own funny caption. In your caption, include what you think is being said or thought by the animals in the photos.

Ensure you use quotation marks as needed.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, The ARTS – Visual Arts, Critical and Creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Up-Level It
Scan through the article and see if you can locate three words that you consider to be basic, or low level. Words we use all the time and they can be replaced by more sophisticated words, words like good and said are examples of overused words.

Once you have found them, see if you can up-level them. Think of synonyms you could use instead of these basic words, but make sure they still fit into the context of the article.

Re-read the article with your new words.

Did it make it better?

Why/Why not?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think any of the animals are trying to be funny?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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