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Meet The “Quokka,” a Photogenic Marsupial That’s Sparked a Selfie-Taking Obsession In Australia

Everyone in Australia is taking selfies with a marsupial called a quokka and you would too if you could.

That Australia’s unique fauna are adorable is a fact plain to every child who’s ever dreamed of snuggling a koala or every grown-up who’s ever dreamed of boxing a kangaroo. Even the baby-eating dingo is cuddly as a pup. But the cuteness of Australian mammals extends beyond just the marquee headliners. For instance, have you ever seen a quokka before?

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The quokka is a happy looking lil’ guy about the size of a housecat whose population is mostly concentrated on the similarly adorably-named Rottnest Island, as well as other western coast islands off of Australia’s mainland. It eats mostly grass, bark, and leaves, is mostly active at night, loves climbing trees, is capable of surviving in a habitat mostly free of fresh water, and is delighted to guest star in your selfie, as it has no fear of humans.

That’s something that Australians are celebrating, as the #QuokkaSelfie hashtag has begun trending on Instagram in recent days. The tag contains exactly what you’d think: People posing with a quokka, sometimes in groups, and everybody–marsupial included–smiling big happy smiles. The trend is all over Instagram and doing well on Twitter, and so far no killjoys appear to have issued a warning against taking the photos even though it’s illegal to touch a quokka even if it approaches you–it’s considered a vulnerable species. If conservation begins with awareness, though, the #QuokkaSelfie has us all more aware of the lil’ homies, and that has to count for something.

H/t to Bored Panda

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About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club

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