The land of the Quokkas

Authored by:
Alexander Schwank

Alexander Schwank
Hi everyone back home! This past weekend, we got the chance to explore the famed Rottnest Island, home of what some call the happiest animal on Earth; the Quokka. Having braved cold and stormy weather on our ferry ride from over Perth, our hearts were warmed almost immediately by these tiny but extra cute little creatures that only live in this tiny corner of Australia. --- Some of our best photos from the trip were the selfies we got to take with these little Quokkas. They seemed to always smile or strike a funny pose for our cameras, and while Quokkas are mainly nocturnal, we found them all around our campsite, and all over the beautiful sand dunes and hills that surrounded us. ---Mistakenly taken for large rats by Dutch Mariners in the 1600s, these cat sized marsupials are actually cousins to the kangaroo. Quokkas carry their young in pouches and hop all around on their hind two legs. While the population of Quokkas on Rottnest island may reach up to 12,000, the species is actually classified as vulnerable and faces real threats from agricultural development, tourism and deforestation. Quokkas also used to have larger numbers on the mainland surrounding Perth, but human expansion, predation from house cats and dogs, and bush fires has also devastated the population to the point where now only scattered individuals remain. --- We have all been lucky enough to share a smile with these happy creatures, and our memories of Rottnest Island will last long after we return home. We leave feeling inspired to maintain safe places for animals like the Quokka and other vulnerable species around the world. We can't believe we only have a few days left in Australia and are ready to make the most of each moment together.

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