When Dutch sailors arrived at Rottnest Island off Western Australia, they mistook the Quokkas for rats and named the island, Rattennest, the Dutch version of "rat's nest." It was later shortened. However, Quokkas aren't rats.
Like many of Australia's creatures, they're marsupials, mammals that give birth to premature babies that find their way, unaided, into their mother's pouch. They attach themselves to a teat and remain for 6 months to mature. Quokkas are also the smallest wallaby and therefore a macropod, literally "big feet" like all wallabies and kangaroos.
Rottnest Island, Bald Island and one place on the mainland of west coast Australia are the only places Quokkas are found. Their population is vulnerable due to predators like dogs, cats, and foxes, and loss of habitat. On Rottnest, the little creatures seem to be part of the tourist attraction. These rabbit sized vegetarians are mainly nocturnal but you will find them following people and wandering into local venues. There are even signs instructing you how to take selfies with them, just don't touch or feed them -- you can be fined for that. Whether it's for their protection or yours -- they have sharp claws and can bite -- is hard to say.
Below, the bakery installed little doors to keep the Quokkas out!
In the wild, they are territorial and live in burrows. They will live approximately 10 years and a female can give birth to one Joey twice per year. One of the more curious Quokka traits is that a mother pursued by a predator will sometimes eject her baby from her pouch to save herself.
Photos taken with my Canon SX620 HS on Rottnest Island, Western Australia