Early in 2015, a cute little Australian took the internet by storm. Quokka, thy name, and smile ― was her ticket to fame! Quokka was readily dubbed by the world media as the happiest animal in the world.
Quokka pronounced as kwok–uh, are small wallaby, inhabiting islands and swampy areas in southwestern Australia.
Quokka, the happiest animal?
Quokkas come from the same family as the kangaroo (called Macropodidae) and are often referred to as the happiest animal in the world because of their cute cheeky grins.
Where are Quokka found?
Quokkas are native to West Australia and are found mainly on— Rottnest Island and Bald Island.
Because of habitat destruction due to all that we label as ‘development’, quokkas are now considered vulnerable to extinction. They also face threats from foxes, cats, and wildfires.
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Despite his ‘vulnerable’ status, this cute animal isn’t scared of humans. There was a selfie frenzy a few years ago featuring Quokkas. And they happily obliged the tourists.
The conservationists have since issued guidelines – hugging or feeding quokkas is a punishable offense. This is because what tourists may commonly take to be a safe food for these critters may lead to teeth/gum infections or premature death in them.
Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth Quokka selfie
Thor star Chris Hemsworth was also swooned by the cuteness that’s Quokka. He posted multiple posts on his Instagram during his visit to the Rottnest Island.
Here’s hoping that with the conservation efforts of the sanctuary and tourists, the Quokka keeps smiling.