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Scientific Name: 
Setonix brachyurus
Species class: 
Quick Facts

Life Span: 5-7 years in captivity, and 3-5 years in the wild

Size: 40cm, with a 30cm

Weight: Males: 3.6 kg, and Females: 2.9kg

Fun Facts

Own Genus: Quokkas are a genus of their own. It is believed that they and the swamp wallaby are both relics of separate lines of evolution from early browsing macropods.

Survivors: Quokkas are very well adapted. They are able to survive in an environment virtually devoid of freshwater by digging waterholes and feeding on succulent plants.  They are also able to climb low trees.

They have excellent thermoregulation coping with temperatures up to 44 degrees Celsius.

Rottnest Island: The Dutch navigator Williem de Vlamingh arrived on Rottnest in 1696 and described the Quokka as "a kind of rat as big as a common cat". He then named the Island 'Rotte nest' (meaning 'rat's nest') and the name of the Island was eventually adapted to 'Rottnest'.

Quokkas are small macropods that are a genus of their own. About the size of a domestic cat, the Quokka has been classified as vulnerable and is only found in a restricted range in Australia.

At Taronga:

At the Education Centre we have 3 Quokkas, Poppy- Lou (born 2008), Mia and Jarrah. These quokkas had to be hand raised by keepers, and as a result are very friendly with people.  This makes them perfect as encounter animals.

Poppy Lou was hand reared in 2008 by keeper Sam (pictured below with baby Poppy – Lou)

Sam said:

Poppy Lou loves to eat everything! She was like a vacuum cleaner and would go along ground hoovering up anything in her path. She once jumped into my bowl of pasta and tried to eat as much as she could before I removed her. She also had a carnivorous edge and would always try and eat the dog’s food.

She was only 200g when I started hand-raising her – would fit in palm of my hand.

She used to like to jump on my head in the morning to wake me up. She was scared stiff of the other quokkas at first and would hide in my arms if I took her near one and now she is ‘top’ quokka in the yard. 

Poppy-Lou and her keeper SamPoppy-Lou and her keeper Sam



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