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Monday, July 24, 2017

The Quokkas of Rottnest Island


How cute is this little critter?
It's a Quokka. 
     In regard to their name, apparently North Americans usually pronounce it kwo-ka (rhymes with “mocha”), and everyone else says kwah-ka (rhymes with “wokka wokka”). It’s really up to you. Quokkas don’t care


 Quokkas come from the same family as the kangaroo
(called Macropodidae) and they live on a handful of small Australian islands such as Rottnest Island and Bald Island.


Their favorite daytime activity is sleeping. They can live up to ten years, and just like other Macropods, the Quokka is herbivorous. Unlike many other animals however, the Quokka, which has a "vulnerable" conservation status, isn't very scared of humans.


   They’re the only land mammal on Rottnest Island, and have become a tourist attraction. Quokkas were first described by Dutch sea captain Willem de Vlamingh, who reported finding “a kind of rat as big as a cat.” The squeamish seaman named the island Ratte nest (“rat’s nest”), then sailed away, presumably toward more genteel wildlife.


             They don't seem bothered by selfies.

     But remember, anybody caught even handling or feeding them can be issued a fine of up to A$300. And no, before you ask, you cannot keep Quokkas as pets.

    And beware, cute as they are,the Quokka can cut you. Their big feet are tipped with very sharp claws. 
   The rat-tailed clan makes its home in swamps and scrub-lands, tunneling through the brush to create shelters and hideouts, emerging at night to find food. And again, no you cannot have one as a pet.





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