Australia has now got an all-new star and we are not referring to some Aussie who has made it to Hollywood but a rat-like creature who is of a cat’s size! Curious? We are talking about ‘Quokka’, a marsupial mammal which lives in the Rottnest Island of Australia. They’re some of the smallest members of the macropod (or “big foot”) family, which also includes Kangaroos and Wallabies.
Surprisingly this island has been named after this creature itself!
Dutch explorers named this island as ‘Ratte-nest’ after this rat-like creature. With time, it came to be known as Rottnest.
Then what is it that has given it so much fame? Well, these cute little rats are extremely friendly and have been lately soaring in selfies of all Rottnest tourists! Yes, you heard me right, Quokkas pose and imitate human faces and funnily pose into the primary cameras of tourists of the island. The selfie became frenzy with Tennis great Roger Federer’s selfie with a Quokka!
Federer fans and people all over Australia and internet have been flocking Rottnest and taking innumerable selfies with Quokkas.
World’s Happiest Animal
For its extreme humane imitations and cuteness, Quokkas have been termed world’s happiest animal.
It Can’t Be Your Pet.
The IUCN Red List classifies the quokka as vulnerable due to declining populations and loss of habitat from logging and development. Threats include foxes, dogs, and cats on the mainland, which has limited their population. On Rottnest, there are no foxes, dogs, or cats, but human visitors have killed quokkas out of cruelty. Quokkas are also at risk of developing muscular dystrophy, a disease in which muscles are damaged and weakened.
Rottnest Island authorities will slap a $300 fine on anyone caught touching a Quokka.
Quokkas are naturally trusting and curious animals and may approach visitors. If you visit an area with quokkas, do not touch them or feed them. Educate others to do the same. You can also help protect their habitat by supporting efforts to reduce logging in Western Australia.