There are many cute animals out there, but nothing can quite come close to a quokka. This tiny ball of happiness can bring a smile upon anyone’s face. Here are some facts about the world’s cutest animal that you should know.
- They are the natives and only residents of Rottnest Island
One of the most unique things about quokkas is that the very few quokka communities are all centered around the southeast of Western Australia, and the healthiest population can be found on Rottnest Island. Approximately 10,000 of these cute little creatures inhabit the island.
- They are dubbed the world’s happiest animal
Due to their smiling nature, quokkas have been dubbed as the happiest animal in the world. This fond nickname is also widely recognized by other countries who absolutely adores these furry little fellas that are not shy to approach strangers. It’s believed that their friendly behaviour is due to the fact that Rottnest Island was separated from the mainland for 700 years.
- The heat makes them smile
It may be a little hard to believe, but the reason behind quokkas’ seemingly permanent cheeky grin is the heat. Smiling is their unique defense mechanism that helps them pant and cool off, which is very helpful as the island they live on is bathed in sunshine 12 months a year.
- They’re nocturnals
Another way quokkas avoid the heat is by sleeping the day away in the shade and coming out to play later at night. Since quokkas are fairly inactive during the day, be careful if you’re on a bicycle and keep your eyes on the road. The best times to see them are early morning and late evening.
- They come from the same family as kangaroos
If you think quokkas look like a mini-me version of kangaroos, that’s because these two animals are actually related. Kangaroos and quokkas, along with several other Australian animals including wallabies and wallaroos, belong to a family of marsupials called macropodidae.
- Don’t feed them
It may be hard to resist wanting to feed this cute fella, but the Rottnest Island rangers discourage you from doing so. Human food can malnourish the quokkas and lead to unnatural behaviours, where they become reliant to human and aggressive. In worst cases, it can result in the death of the animal.
- They are selfie stars
Taking a selfie with a quokka is a popular bucket list item, and it’s what drives most people from all over the world to Rottnest Island. Quokkas are naturally friendly and trusting, and the best way to take a selfie with them is by waiting for them to approach you first. Remember to maintain a safe distance and avoid touching them.
Get in touch with us to plan your trip to Rottnest Island!