For Wild, 2016 was filled with fascinating wildlife photography throughout our parks and reserves in South Africa and Swaziland. On a more entertaining note, and for the last time this year, we laugh out loud at some of the animals caught in the act. In the very funny act, of course! By Arnold Ras

Sometimes when staring through our lenses, we witness scenes you could call stranger than fiction… Like some of these pictures taken by Wild travellers over the past year that left them wondering what on earth was going on.

baby-elephant-ayesha-cantor

Whoopsy daisy! Ayesha Cantor was driving through the Addo Elephant National Park on a scorcher of a day in February this year. So hot that this elephant calf decided to slide into the waterhole rather than trotting down to the water’s edge. Ayesha says: “There were so many scenes like this with all the animals in a big rush to get to the waterholes. What a very unglamorous entry!”

leopard-sharifa-jinnah

Grrrrrrrr! Delirious or just some everyday horseplay from a young leopard in the Kruger National Park? Sharifa Jinnah was driving on the S21 when this cuckoo cat showed its teeth. Smiling, grinning or did it get stuck between a, uhm, tree and a hard place? Either way, amused or upset as the kitty may be, it’s always best to leave nature to sort out itself.

ground-squirrel-barry-christensen

A scene from the animated film Kung Fu Panda? Nope. We like to call this wildife moment Kung Fu Squirrel! Wild traveller Barry Christensen recently captured this martial arts loving Cape ground squirrel in Mountain Zebra National Park. The furry rodent’s no-nonsense approach to inquisitive park visitors is tickling all the funny bones. Don’t mess with this one, folks…

spotted-eagle-owl-gerhard-vosloo

Think you have a bad hair day? Think again. This spotted eagle-owl in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park takes first prize. Gerhard Vosloo was lucky enough to photograph the comically compromised bird – all wet and bothered. Or maybe it simply dislikes bathtime quite intensely. Can you hear “All by myself” playing in the background?

vervet-monkeys-tracey-slaven

Are these vervet monkeys avid fans of the Village People’s “YMCA”, or have their daily grooming duties just become too overwhelming? About this scene snapped in the Addo Elephant National Park, photographer Tracey Slaven says: “There had been some brief rains and the monkeys came out to dry. We had such a laugh coming up with quotes to complement the pictures.” At least one of the cheeky chappies seems up to the task…

goliath-heron-mohammed-jinah

Have you ever tucked into a meal with gusto just to get caught in a very embarrassing how-do-I-swallow-this situation? Ditto for this goliath heron photographed by Mohammed Jinnah at Sweni Hide in the Kruger National Park. Such is life when your eyes are too big for your belly. And with its tongue hanging out like that, we can only assume two things: the fish dish tasted especially good, or the prey’s journey to the bird’s stomach was easier said than done.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The yearly Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards celebrates conservation through a wildlife photography competition that focuses on the lighter side. Photographers from around the world can enter their giggle-worthy snaps and 2016’s winners included some crazy animal antics.

Want inspiration for 2017’s competition? Have look at this year’s winners and get your cameras ready: entries open on 1 June 2017.

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-angela-bohlke

“A tough day at the office” by Angela Bohlke

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-nicolas-de-vaulx

“Damn!” by Nicolas de Vaulx

thomas bullivant London United Kingdom Phone: 07582858086 Email: thomasbullivant4@gmail.com Title: Say Cheese! Description: These Zebras seemed very photogenic, smiling and doing a few rolls for the camera, pro models in the wild wanting their photos to be taken. I couldn't resist and this was the best one I got. Animal: Zebra Location of shot: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

“Say cheese!” by Thomas Bullivant