The Quokkas on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth, Western Australia are having a major Instagram moment.
I think it all started when tennis champion Roger Federer posted a quokka selfie on his Instagram account. Margot Robbie and Hugh Jackman have also posted quokka selfies along with more than 100,000 other Instagrammers.
Quokkas seem to be very happy and very chilled out. They aren’t afraid of humans and they don’t hop away when you approach them. On Rottnest Island I was surprised to see them right in the centre of town. We even had them under our table when we were having lunch at a cafe. They’re herbivores so it’s not like they were begging for food like a dog, they just seemed to gently hop around where ever they felt like it.
A few facts about Quokkas – they’re about the size of a cat and look a bit like a rat but much cuter. Their tail is a bit rat like though. They’re covered with short coarse fur in a brownish colour. They eat leaves, plants and grass. And just like kangaroos they carry their joey in a pouch. They live for about 10 years.
Quokkas are naturally trusting but it is important not to feed them or touch them. As a species they are classified as “vulnerable” due to declining populations. Fortunately, on Rottnest Island there are no cars, foxes, dogs or cats. The only threat to them on Rottnest is humans who unfortunately don’t always do the right thing.
I’m very inexperienced when it comes to taking selfies and getting a Quokka selfie is no easy feat. Lying down next to them involved lying down in the dirt and really you need a selfie stick to get them in the shot with you. So, my Quokka selfie attempt was a half-hearted failure. Never mind, I prefer to leave them alone in the wild and not subject them to too much human interaction.
Lots of love,