Quokking a smile – world’s happiest animal smiles for the camera!
These super cute quokkas have earned themselves the title ‘happiest animal in the world’ – and it’s easy to see why.
The 40-centimetre-long furry animal has a permanent smile spread across its face.
With a life spent foraging for tasty treats and receiving fuss from tourists, who can blame them.
Quokkas are native to the Rottnest Island in Western Australia, although there are also isolated pockets on the mainland.
The pictures were taken by 40-year-old American photographer Max Waugh.He has been fascinated by the marsupials ever since he discovered them as the only entry under ‘Q’ in a book of mammals as a child.
Max said: “Seeing a quokka was a goal 30 years in the making.
“I was only in Australia for a short time, but I travelled all the way across the country because I wanted to photograph the quokkas.
“The quokka is a friendly animal. Even the quokkas we encountered away from the main tourist village were extremely curious and would hop right up to me.
“They would let me get quite close and photograph them as they were foraging for nuts, seeds and leaves.
“I rented a bicycle and rode away from the village in hopes of finding some of the animals in a less touristy area.
“I discovered one small colony on a quiet road, which provided most of the photo opportunities.
“The quokka has a tell-tale smile which has appeared in several selfies with Australian tourists recently, but in reality it’s very difficult to see and photograph the smile because the animal is so low to the ground and is busy eating most of the time.
“Taking pictures was much more challenging than I expected. I was on my belly, rolling in quokka poo trying to capture more intimate portraits of these cute critters from close range.”