Photo feature

All creatures great and small: Meet the finalists of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The funniest faces of the animal kingdom.

A chubby-cheeked squirrel chomping on corn, a frog floating in a pond, a fox who dove headfirst into the snow and is now parked with its legs sticking out, a monkey making a snowball, an owl with a GoPro camera, a Komodo dragon walking out of a washroom, a melancholic meerkat, and a look of utter dismay on its face, lions who look like they are laughing uncontrollably – these are just some of the finalists in the annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

4 DAYS TO GO BEFORE CLOSING!!! Enter on our site. #winasafari #wildlife #comedy #animals #nature #fox #snow #headfirst #cwpa

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Humans are capable of a range of emotions, but when those expressions are caught on the faces of animals, they result in some hilarious shots. Founded by two wildlife photographers, Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tim Sullam, Comedy Wildlife Photography works closely with the Born Free Foundation – a charity dedicated to animal conservation and protection that was founded by Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, the stars of the classic film Born Free, and their eldest son, Will.

3 DAYS TO GO TO DEADLINE!!!! #cwpa #nature #wildlife #comedy #tortoise #ride #giddyup #winasafari #photocompetition

A photo posted by Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards (@comedywildlifephoto) on

The competition which has been split into six categories, including a category for Video Clips, features well-timed scenes from the wild, from underwater shots of marine mammals, amphibians and reptiles, to birds, bats and every other kind of winged creature.

The Wildlife Comedy Awards are in their second year, and are already being hailed as the antithesis of traditional wildlife photography contests – the photography award that makes you laugh, and promotes animal conservation at the same time.

5 DAYS TO GO BEFORE CLOSING!!! #hurry #animals #funny #cwpa #comedy #wildlife #winasafari #lizard #gecko

A photo posted by Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards (@comedywildlifephoto) on

The panel of judges for the competition, includes Joynson-Hicks, wildlife photographers Will Burrard-Lucas, and Adam Scorey, wildlife TV presenter Kate Humble, actor and comedian Hugh Dennis, wildlife expert Will Travers, and The Telegraph’s online travel editor Oliver Smith. Fuji Photographer of the Year awardee Tom Sillam served as chairman of the judges and competition director.

Who looks more silly? #funny #wildlife #cwpa #comedy #animals #salmon #bear #miss #winasafari

A photo posted by Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards (@comedywildlifephoto) on

The competition, which closed on October 1, received 2,200 entries from all around the world – of which only 40 photographs were chosen to contend in the competition.

Good mooooorning!! #zebra #photocompetition #funny #animals #wildlife #cwpa #comedy #laughing #winasafari

A photo posted by Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards (@comedywildlifephoto) on

Winners for each category will receive a special trophy made by men and women with disabilities at the WonderWorkshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The photographer with the winning shot will also take away a safari for two and a Nikon camera.

In 2015, the winning photograph featured a hamster running straight towards Austrian photographer Julian Rad's camera.

High five my friend. #laughing #wildlife #cwpa #mouse #comedy #animals #funny #winasafari #photocompetition

A photo posted by Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards (@comedywildlifephoto) on

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.