Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Quokk Festival

Thought I’d dedicate a post to one of the more unsung heroes of the off-beat and wacky world that is Australian wildlife – the quokka. They are found on a couple of off-shore islands in the south west of Oz and apparently a small mainland colony, and they look like this:

Quokka 1Quokka 3Quokka 2

They’re about the size of a large moggy, and a passing Dutch sailor thought they looked like rats – not sure how he found his way home again with eyesight that poor – so he named the island Rottnest and seems to have left them to it. In reality, they’re nothing like rats – their front legs are considerably smaller than their back legs, which they use to womble about like miniature kangaroos – and apart from very sharp teeth they don’t appear to have any of good old ratty’s more unsociable habits.

They are now – of course a major tourist attraction and the primary reason we were having a day on the island as part of our latest holiday.. They’re helped in this regard by their apparent lack of concern for the size of people – they seem inquisitive to the point of being positively suicidal – which does make them even more endearing.

Quokka 4

It also means that with a little patience you can get down on their level at which point they become really cute. I could have photographed them all day – as it was I came away with around 50 shots of the little guys. Here are a few more of my favourites

Quokka 6 Quokka 7  Quokka 8

And finally just for good measure one with little Joey’s head sticking out rather than his tail.

Quokka 9

2 comments:

Stewart M said...

Splendid beasts.

I think I'll be adding Perth to the visit list!

SM

(Why oh why do you have this horrid word verification thing!)

Nigel Monckton said...

Didn't realise I had. Hopefuly it's gone now though.