Until the latest craze, a lot of folks beyond Australia had never learned of the quokka, a Muppet-adorable (despite its beady eyes and rat’s tail) marsupial with an irresistible grin.
But this week, folks’ selfies with the furry critter (its name rhymes with mocha) have erupted over the Internet. So what is the storyline behind the quokka, whose long-term smile earned it the moniker “happiest animal in the world” a few years back? )
To begin with, the creature, favoring dense plant life, inhabits isle swamps and thickets off the shore of West Australia–mostly on Rottnest Island and Bald Island–as well as eucalyptus woods and riverbanks on the mainland.
Handling the creature or even touching it is illegal. Tourists have been using the much maligned selfie stick to get around the ban and post some really cute pics. Long live the selfie stick!
1. Three Ladies With Sunglasses Grinning Behind A Smiling Quokka
These giddy women seem to be having the time of their lives posing with an adorable quokka and using a selfie stick to take the memorable photo.
2. Guy Makes Funny Face Beside The “Happiest Animal In The World”
This man tries to steal the spotlight from the perpetually smiling quokka. Unfortunately for him, it’s the cute marsupial who wins in this round.
3. Eating Apples With A Quokka
It seems that simply posing with a quokka is not enough for this girl. Throw in some apples and it’s a party for the two fast friends.
4. Guy Hanging Out With A Quokka
Attention kangaroos, koalas and wombats! The quokka is here to stake its claim as the cutest animal from Australia. This guy in a striped blue-and-white shirt seems to think so, too.
5. Side View Shot Of A Quokka
It’s time to check what is the quokka’s best angle. This little furball tilts its head for the optimum shot. The guy in sunglasses appears to be touching the quokka, but it’s just an optical illusion because it’s illegal to touch the animal.
6. Group Shot With Quokka
It’s the whole gang hanging out with their adorable mascot.
7. Quokka With Sand On Its Nose
No one told the quokka that it’s got some dirt on its nose. So much for looking out for each other!
8. Quokka And Friends
This quokka is having one fine day with his newfound buddies.
9. Out In The Sun With The Quokka
The heat is not a problem for the quokka and this guy. As long as they get a great picture beside each other.