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Meet The Quokka, The Happiest Animal In The World (PHOTOS)

01/07/2013 04:31 pm 16:31:25 | Updated Aug 15, 2013

When it comes to cute animal pictures, there's no beating this cheeky creature, who may as well have wandered straight out of a feel-good kids' movie.

Meet the Quokka, a marsupial that seems to have come straight from an animator at Disney, but is actually native to a small corner of southwestern Australia.

Unlike a frightening number of Australian animals, the Quokka poses no threat to humans, and -- as these pictures make abundantly clear -- can be quite friendly.

That friendliness may partially explain why, according to the Perth Zoo, the once-plentiful Quokka was drastically reduced in number after the dingo and foxes found their way to Australia.

The animal is currently listed as "vulnerable," according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Thanks to conservation efforts and fox control programs, their populations are recovering in some areas.

PHOTOS of the Quokka, aka "the happiest animal in the world:"

Credit for the last photo goes to “Lass with a Camera” at Redbubble.

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