The latest big craze Down Under are ‘Quokka selfies’ with tourists which are gaining popularity and is capitalizing on the cheerful marsupial’s eager readiness to pose for holiday snaps.
Acclaimed in 2013 as the happiest animal in the world, this cat-sized quokka’s friendly nature with a perpetual smiling curl of its mouth is hailed as the most photogenic as well as being the cutest.
Quokka selfies have grown to be quite popular as hundreds of people have been posting their “quokka selfies” on social media particularly Twitter and Instagram after meeting this furry cutie. The lovable quokka is a herbivorous marsupial which resides in the south-west part of Western Australia.
They can be found on the mainland, but are more common on the smaller islands such as Rottnest Island, off Perth, and Bald Island, off Albany.
Around 10,000 quokkas are estimated to be on Rottnest Island, which is free of predators such as foxes and cats, who love to hunt and devour this adorable animals. The species is nonetheless listed as vulnerable – one level below endangered – on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list, and it is therefore illegal to handle a quokka. As a matter fact a fine of A$300 is for charged for anybody caught in the act of touching them.
However, the sociable creatures have no fear of humans and will readily approach visitors – so those hilarious quokka selfies are not so difficult to obtain as the star attraction usually offers an enigmatic smile into the camera while surrounded by its beaming new ‘quokkaholic’ companions.
Despite its cheerfulness and cuteness, quokka should still be treated with extra caution. They have sharp claws and teeth, and the Rottnest Island Infirmary treats dozens of patients – mostly children – for quokka bites each year. But it doesn’t matter because they are still so irresistible and very appealing.