A man has been thrust in to the limelight after footage of him punching a kangaroo in a bid to save his dog went viral.
The footage shows Greig Tonkins, who is reportedly an elephant keeper at a zoo, running towards the kangaroo during a hunting trip in Australia as the animal had caught his dog in a headlock. The kangaroo is seen kicking the front legs of the dog from underneath itself it tries to escape the kangaroo’s grip, which eventually works.
As the dog escapes, Mr Tonkins and the kangaroo are seen squaring off against each other, before he punches the animal in the face. The kangaroo is left stunned and runs away.
The hunting trip itself had been organised for a friend of the men who was dying of cancer, Kailem Barwick. He wanted to catch a “tonner” – a 100kg boar – and his friends arranged the trip to help him achieve his goal, the Daily Mail Australia reported.
One man filmed the trip that took place in June so it could be turned into a DVD for Mr Barwick and his family to watch. The moment where the kangaroo got punched has since gone viral after being posted on Facebook this weekend.
Mathew Amor, who organised the hunting trip, told news.com.au that Mr Tonkins is a “placid bloke” and that “he went it to save the dog but when the ‘roo turned towards him, he stood his ground as well until all the dogs were safe.”
Mr Amor said his friend “only stunned” the kangaroo and that the rest of the hunting group laughed at him for “packing such a sh*t punch”.
A spokesperson for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo confirmed Mr Tonkins is an employee. “Good animal welfare and the protection of Australian wildlife are of the utmost importance to Taronga,” the zoo said in a statement. “We are working with Mr Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action.”
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