Hilarious snap of grumpy sea turtle just won top prize at 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

What are you looking at? Terry the grumpy giant turtle summed up the general feeling towards a year that has been particularly cruel to both travel and wildlife. A photo of him "flipping the bird" was recently named funniest animal photo in the Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020.

Winning photographer Mark Fitzpatric said he was "stoked" to win the grand prize for his snap. Selected from over 7000 entries, the photo was an instant favourite after the marine meme found viral fame online.

Taken by the Aussie photographer off the coast of Lady Elliot Island, the photographer was delighted to give people something to laugh about.


Turtle Flipping the Bird. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Mark Fitzpatrick

"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," said Fitzpatric.

"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!"


Fitzpatric was awarded with the grand prize and a week-long safari to Kenya during an online ceremony.


Gossip. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Bernhard Esterer

Lolliphant. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Kunal Gupta

Started in 2015 by Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks, the annual competition searches for "great photography that has captured a wild animal doing something so funny that makes us snort into our cup of tea."

The competition which uses comedy to encourage the message of conservation has grown every year. The shortlist is chosen by a panel of celebrity comedians and conservation workers from the Born Free Foundation.

Sullam told the Herald that the pandemic lockdown had led to 2020 being the largest set of entries year, as photographers "found the time to wrestle through years of images stuck on hard drives".

Past winners have included brave lion cubs, friendly bears and one seriously pissed-off squirrel.


Sly smiles. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Asaf Sereth


Biker gang. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Yevhen Samuchenko


Stuffed Raccoon. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Charlie Davidson


Hi Y'all. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Eric Fisher


Doggo. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Esa Ringbom


Socially Uninhibited. Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Martin Grace


Wait! Photo / The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, Christina Holfelder

The full list of finalists can be seen: comedywildlifephoto.com

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.