The Quokka is one of the animals found on Rottnest. They used to be found in abundance in and around Fremantle, however with the introduction of predators they were quickly eradicated.
The Quokka itself is a very friendly animal. They are know to carry salmonella which was only discovered in the mid 1900’s when there were horses on the island. They are unsure if the introduction of horses introduced salmonella or the rottnest is the host to salmonella, however they do know that Quokkas carry a form of salmonella.
Quokkas were originally thought to be big rats. This is how Rottnest acquired its name initially which is Dutch for “Rat Nest’. At first glance, it can be thought to be a rat as they have the same shape face with tail However, Quokka are marsupials and are the only member of the genus Setonix.
One of the main problems Quokka have on the island is being fed by humans. Quokka are very sensitive to any yeast products which causes them to loose their fur. Tourist often think they are helping a Quokka by giving them a piece of bread, however they are only shortening their life span.
Another problem Quokka experience are humans themselves. I found many children either feeding Quokkas sweets or using a stick to probe them. If you are travelling to the island with young kids, make sure they understand how to treat an animal. Quokka are on the endangered list.
While the main town has a number of Quokkas, one can find Quokkas all through the island. Some of the Quokkas in the town are a little shy of humans (for obvious reasons) however I find the Quokkas further west are a little more naive and inquisitive.
Quokka Experience Tips:
Do not feed the Quokkas even if you think fruit may not harm them. Their system is used to all things on the island and introducing any new foods can be lethal.
Please take note of a Quokka’s behavior. If they make an effort to run away from you, please do not chase them.
Some Quokkas love the camera. Enjoy your moment with them in their own habitat. Please do not pick them up for a quick photo.
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