When we first came to Perth one of the things we did was visit Rottnest Island and, as fairly young & fit couple we hired bikes to ride around the Island. On one of our short breaks to eat a bag of twisties a Quokka jumped out of the bushes and rather boldly approached me, he appeared to want my twisties! Not wanting to hurt the creature and not sure of his motivations we jumped on our bikes and rode off, at this point we did not know the nature of Quokkas or their larrikin nature.
Years later, older and wiser, we returned to Rottnest and, walking towards the lighthouse, we saw a Quokka in the road. We had no food this time but Dave was armed with his camera and wanted a great shot of the Quokka. Being the nature lovers that we are taking a picture of a Quokka on a man-made surface would not do, so being the MAD person that I am I walked towards the bushes and bent down to talk to the Quokka (because he was going to understand exactly what I was saying!).
Anyway much to my surprise this lovely Quokka slowly hopped over to me and put his paws on my knee, how adorable!! After enjoying a few minutes admiring my new friend I carefully stood up and walked away, which gave Dave his chance of a natural shot of this gorgeous marsupial.
and there he was, gone …
We love Quokkas so much we have now immortalised another cute pair on our new range of gift ware, here is the mug shot we took of them 🙂
This is my favourite mug for my coffee each morning and you can own one too, simply click here and you can order your very own cute Quokka mug.
Not only can you have your own Quokka mug, you can have these cute little creatures on the a range of products featuring our new “MAD About Western Australia” (more to come on this soon) brand:
- iPhone Case (without MAD About WA branding)
- Galaxy Phone Case (without MAD About WA branding)
- T-Shirt (without MAD About WA branding)
- Travel Mug
NOTE: Quokkas are a vulnerable species meaning they are a high priority for conservation management. It is a privilege to be able to interact with them in any way on Rottnest Island. They have very few predators there, hence are very friendly and unafraid and are happy to approach you. Please do not abuse them or feed them, remember they are wild animals. I for one hope to be able to enjoy this interaction for many years to come and that is only possible if we all respect the Quokkas and help to preserve them.
Rottnest was named ‘Rattennest’, literally rats’ nest in the late 1600’s as an explorer observed the Quokkas and described them as “a kind of rat as big as a cat” (Willem de Vlamingh).
The Aboriginals called them a range of names such as ‘Ban-gup’, ‘Bungeup’, ‘Quak –a’ (Gould 1863, Shortridge 1909), ‘kwoka’ and ‘bangop’ (Abbott 2001).
Their species name is Setonix barchyurus. ‘Setonix’ is derived from the Latin ‘seta’ meaning bristle and the Greek ‘onyx’ meaning claw. Barchyurus is derived from the Greek ‘brachys’ for short and ‘oura’ for tail.
Can you believe these adorable creatures were declared to be vermin in 1933!!