The tiger quoll is an adorable, carnivorous marsupial, sort of like an extra-cute Tasmanian devil with spots. Like most of the other weird marsupials, they’re only found in Australia, and they’ve been increasingly hard to find in the wild. In the Otway Ranges in southwestern Victoria, there hadn’t been a confirmed quoll sighting in more than 10 years — until last month, when a local homeowner saw one poop outside his laundry room.
Late last month Matt Morton heard a thud on the deck of his home in the region and went out to investigate.
“There was a ginger and white spotted animal that sort of looked like an oversized possum,” he said.
“Then it slowly had walked up a couple of flights of stairs and as it got past the laundry it defecated in front of the laundry door.”
That defecation was a stroke of luck — without it, Morton would have just seen an unconfirmed medium-size spotty animal. But because he could collect its scat, he was able to get the critter confirmed as a quoll, the first seen in the area in over a decade.
Lizzie Corke of the local Conservation Ecology Center told reporters that reduced quoll populations play havoc with the ecosystem, because the bloodthirsty little charmers are so close to the top of the food chain. She also rhapsodized a bit about how dang pretty they are:
“They are stunning animals, they’re gingery-browny colour, covered in beautiful white spots right down their tails and across their bodies and they have the most divine little pink noses and very strong teeth,” she said.
It’s good to know that their divine little noses are still running around in the wild.