These adorable critters have an award winning smile that has earned them the title of happiest animal in the world! This grinning marsupial is called a quokka (rhymes with mocha), and until recently only known to local Australians. Due to their friendly personalities and their willingness to pose for the perfect selfies, they have become social media stars and are now very popular.
Australia is known to be home to the fiercest and dangerous animals on the planet, but this time they get to show their softer side with the chummy little quokka. The largest concentration of quokkas is found on Rottnest Island which means “rats nest”. It was named this in the 1700s when a Dutch sea captain observed these animals and stated they were “rats as big as cats”. They do have beady little eyes, and a rats tail, but when you combine that with it’s little round nose and irresistible smile they make for one endearing little creature!
Quokkas are social and friendly marsupials that live in family like groups. The males tend to be dominant, but all in all they are not territorial creatures and will sometimes allow 150 members into the family. They tend to share their living spaces very peacefully and only seem to get on each others nerves when trying to obtain the coolest shadiest spots to relax.
Due to their laid back demeanor it’s not surprising they have adapted well to humans. Rottnest Island gets over 500,000 visitors every year; popular place! The quokka has taken to this very well, skillfully navigating the streets, enjoying the smorgasbord of treats found in trash cans and of course posing for fabulous selfies. However, if you ever get to journey to Rottnest Island to get your selfie with a smiling quokka, keep in mind that touching and feeding the quokka is illegal. While they are very friendly they have been known to bite, and feeding them processed foods and fruits is can be very bad for their digestive systems.
So, if you want a genuine smile in your next selfie, just think about the photogenic quokka, quite possibly the happiest animal on earth.