We’ve all been eagerly waiting and the moment of truth has finally come: the winners of the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have been announced! We think all the finalists this year were fabulous, but this year’s winners are, in our opinion, genuinely worth the honor of being called the best of the best.
This year’s overall winner is Mark Fitzpatrick for his amazing photograph, ‘Terry the Turtle flipping the bird,’ which beat 7k other entries from around the world. Mark captured the image when he was swimming with the turtles off Lady Elliot Island in Queensland, Australia. He managed to catch the moment when Terry’s flipper is pulling back as he swims towards the camera, making it appear as if the turtle is actually flipping Mark the bird and means it.
Scroll down, check out all of this year’s winners, and read on for Bored Panda’s interview with Tom Sullam, one of the founders of the marvelous photo competition. When you’re done enjoying the magnificent photos, have a look through the full list of this year’s finalists here and check out last year’s winners right here.
The team hosted a warm and lovely award ceremony live on Instagram on Tuesday evening which drew in watchers from all around the globe.
Overall winner Mark said that he was “stoked and honored” to be awarded the Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year title for 2020. He won a once in a lifetime safari in the Masai Mara, in Kenya, with Alex Walker’s Serian. Mark also won a unique handmade trophy from the Wonder Workshop in Tanzania, a photography bag from Think Tank, and a brand new Nikon camera.
“It’s been amazing to see the reaction to my photo of Terry the Turtle flipping the bird, with Terry giving people a laugh in what has been a difficult year for many, as well as helping spread an important conservation message. Hopefully, Terry the Turtle can encourage more people to take a moment and think about how much our incredible wildlife depends on us and what we can do to help them. Flippers crossed that this award puts Terry in a better mood the next time I see him at Lady Elliot Island!” he said.
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards were founded by professional photographers and passionate conservationists Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks. Together, they hope to highlight the importance of wildlife conservation in an engaging and positive way along with their main competition partner, the Born Free Foundation.
Tom from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards team told Bored Panda that he and his colleagues have been fortunate to receive competition entries throughout the pandemic.
“People in lockdown have found time to either take new images of their local wildlife or have found the time to wrestle through years of images stuck on hard drives. It has made our lockdown much more manageable, and as a small team, we have been able to maintain continual contact via video calls to keep the competition on the right track.”
Tom firmly believes that the entries get better and better with each and every year. This year, in particular, there have been more images than ever. “The winner, however, is never obvious at any stage of the competition! The judges are remarkably different in how they judge the humor of an image. The technical side of the photography is taken care of by Paul and myself and we then ask the judges to score the final images on humor!” Tom shared.