You may not know what kind of animal this is, but you’ve definitely seen that cheeky grin. A few years ago, quokkas became overnight Internet stars and a new magnet for tourists. Who would refuse the temptation to be photographed with an incredibly photogenic furball, even if you have to travel far away for it?
In contrast to their older relatives, large kangaroos, small kangaroos are not afraid of people at all and willingly come out to meet them. They literally pose for photographers, smile and provoke them to close contact. A touching sight? No, a trap.
The main habitats of the quokkas are Rottnest and Bald Island, off the coast of Western Australia. This animal is considered endemic and has a protected status, so you can easily get a $300 fine if you try to eat a piece of fruit or squeeze it for selfies. For each attempt. And the quokka isn’t guilty of anything, it’s just smiling sincerely.
A quokka’s smile is not fiction. For example, they smirk even in their sleep. And while eating.
Quokkas are not afraid of people at all. The cuddling of the smitten tourists, feeding from the hands, all sorts of cuddling and other rituals, performed for the sake of spectacular photos, the little animals perceive as part of the game.
Most quokkas live in their natural environment, in a small area. And it is people who should come to them, not the other way around. That’s the way it’s done. Remember the fines.