An image of two cats going head to head has been awarded the top prize at the Comedy Pet Photo Award, beating out 2,000 other entries taken by animal lovers around the world.
The winning snap, called Boom Boom, was taken by Kenichi Morinaga while he was travelling around the small islands off the coast of his home country of Japan.
The amateur photographer became fascinated by cats while backpacking across Europe and says their antics “really cheered him up” during the pandemic.
As the winner, Mr Morinaga will take home a £2,000 ($2,300) prize and was also asked to nominate a charity to receive a donation of £5,000 ($5,700). He opted to give the money to the Cat Welfare Group, an animal sanctuary based on the south coast of the UK.
Other winners of this year's competition include Jose Bayon from Spain, whose photo of rescue dog Nilo discovering the joys of playing in water won in the dog category.
Radim Filipek won in the horses category with a touching shot of a mare and her foal.
The winner of the other creatures category was called Smokin Alpaca, captured by Stefan Brusius from Germany.
The Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been running for several years now and its organisers say they want the awards to highlight the “positive awareness of animal welfare issues and celebrate the incredible and valuable contribution that pets can and do have on our lives”.
The expert judging panel includes animal lover Kate Humble, comedian and TV presenter Mel Geidroyc, TV vet Emma Milne and professional pet photographer Elke Vogelsang.
Tom Sullam, co-founder of the Comedy Pet Photo Awards, said he was “chuffed” by the amount of entries and the eventual winning photo.
“The joy pets bring to our lives is evident in all the entries we receive, making our job as judges very enjoyable but also very tricky,” he said.
Wes Pearson, chief executive of Animal Friends, said he was “honoured” to support Mr Morinaga's charity of choice.
He said competitions such as the Comedy Pet Photo Awards “shine a light on what makes our pets so precious and why it’s so important that we do everything we can to protect them”.