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You have most probably already seen a photo of a quokka floating around the internet - cue the 'quokka selfie'. This animal's peculiarity is that its smile can make even the stoniest heart melt. And we can see why!
Quokkas come from the same family as the kangaroo (called the Macropodidae). They were once found on mainland Western Australia but are now mostly found offshore on Rottnest Island (near Perth) and Bald Island (near Albany). However, there are still a few isolated groups inhabiting the bushland that surround the city of Perth and the mainland.
History of the quokka
Quokkas were first spotted in 1658 when a Dutchman named Volkerson said that they resembled an Asian civet cat, but with brown fur. He was the first European to record the sighting of a quokka. In 1696, Dutchman Willem de Vlamingh also discovered the quokkas and described them as large rats. He named the 19km square island just of the coast of Perth, “Ratte nest” which translated from Dutch to mean “rat’s nest”. As time went by, the island became known as ‘Rottnest’.