The funniest animal photos of 2015

Published November 18th, 2015

The below image of a wild hamster, cheeks filled with food, expression of quiet determination writ large across its furry brow, has been named the funniest animal photo of the year at the inaugural Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

This year's winning photograph. Photo: Julian Rad

The hamster, or rather Julian Rad, the Austrian who captured it, beat hundreds of rivals to the top prize, earning himself a one-week holiday in Tanzania and a Nikon D750 camera in the process.

This stag took second place. Photo: William Richardson

Second and third place went to a pair of Britons: William Richardson, for his photo of an impeccably camouflaged stag in Richmond Park, and Oliver Dreike, for an image of a gorilla that swears it was just scratching its nose. Honest.

This gorilla swiped third. Photo: Oliver Dreike

Given that the award is in its first year, the number of entries – more than 1,500 – was impressive, as has been its global reach, with those entries coming from as far afield as Iraq, Macedonia, Uruguay, Belize and Sri Lanka.

This distressed hippo was one of 10 'highly commended' entries. Photo: Marc Mol

Images of animals looking foolish clearly hold a special place in everyone’s heart – regardless of nationality.

So, too, was this graceful cheetah. Photo: Mohammed Alnaser

Among the judges were Hugh Dennis, the actor and comedian best known for his role in BBC’s Outnumbered, and Kate Humble, the broadcaster and regular contributer to Telegraph Travel, as well as several respected wildlife photographers, such as Will Burrard Lucas and Tom Sullam.

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This ninja squirrel. Photo: Julian Rad

“It was a pleasure to judge the inaugural Comedy Wildlife Awards,” Dennis said.

This amused seal. Photo: Julie Hunt

“The number and quality of the entries was fantastic," he added.

This flapping bird. Photo: Charlie Davidson

"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.”

This grinning critter. Photo: Yuzuru Masuda

In addition to being extremely entertaining, the awards aim to raise awareness of the work of The Born Free Foundation, the conservation and animal rights charity.

And these clumsy owls. Photo: Megan Lorenz

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This article was written by Oliver Smith from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning UK English language broadsheet newspaper, published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally.