Friday, May 15, 2015

"Can I Have a Quokka as a Pet?"

We’ve seen posts lately featuring selfies with humans and quokkas, those little furry balls of joy that look like a cross between a prairie dog and a teddy bear. But what in the heck is a quokka?

The quokka, which rhymes with wokka, is a short-tailed wallaby with a short face and round ears at the top of the head. They are macropod (big-footed) marsupials about the size of a domestic cat, weighing between 5 ½ to 10 pounds. They typically give birth to litters of one, which they raise to adulthood

The word wallaby is a clue that they are native to the Western Australian islands. Nocturnal, with the ability to climb small trees and shrubs, quokkas are also herbivorous, meaning they feed on plant life.

Before you get any ideas about having one as a pet, you must know that they are classified as a “vulnerable” species and live in a restricted range on the Mainland of Australia as well as Rottnest and Bald Islands. Its main predators are foxes and cats and the islands are free of those. However, on the Mainland, not only has their population been diminished as a result of natural predators, their numbers have dramatically declined due to logging, agricultural development and the clearance of swamp lands.

Also, as sweet and happy as they look, they can do some damage with the sharp claws on their big feet and their sharp teeth.  They are afraid of nothing and no-one and are ready to battle it out if humans get too close.  Quokkas are also as mischievous as monkeys. They reportedly raid campsites and homes and show up at cafes and restaurants for nightly snacks.

So, quokka loving friends, you’ll have to admire these adorable creatures from afar.

Oh, and good luck with those selfies!

– Kasirra McKee

For more information about Quokkas, click here.

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