Man Punches Kangaroo In The Face To Save His Dog.
It’s been dubbed the most Aussie video you’ll ever see — a man dressed in a flanno squaring off with a big roo in the rugged Australian bush.
Overnight, the footage of zookeeper Greig Tonkins went viral after the kangaroo put his hunting dog Max in a vicious headlock.
Since being posted to Facebook, the footage — which was filmed by Greg Bloom — has been viewed more than a million time.
Still image taken from a YouTube clip showing Greig Tonkins punching a kangaroo in the face.
But there’s much more to the story than meets the eye.
“This hunting trip was put together for a sick young man called Kailem who passed away from cancer last week,” said Mathew Amor, who organised the hunting trip in June when the incident occurred.
Greig Tonkins, centre in checked shirt, reacted to his dog in a headlock by hitting the roo. Source: Supplied
Mr Amor told news.com.au he decided to organise a small group of friends, including Kailem and Greig Tonkins, to go on the boar hunting trip at his property in Condobolin, New South Wales, after hearing about Kailem’s deteriorating condition.
“And so a few of us got together to take him out, and another mate filmed more than an hour of video to put together as a DVD for Kailem and his family of the trip.”
The DVD included the minute of footage that has since gone viral.
Mr Amor said it was totally out of character for his friend, Mr Tonkins, to hit the marsupial, describing him as a “placid bloke”.
“My mate has a good government job, so he’s gone pretty quiet on this,” Mr Amor laughed.
“We were driving along, the dogs are loose. They are trained to smell pig’s blood, and picked up a scent.
“The dogs went past 20 kangaroos, which they are trained not to touch.
“Anyway, this big buck got a hold of my friend’s dog. It just grabbed him.”
It’s been confirmed that Mr Tonkins is a zookeeper at Taronga’s Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.
“Taronga Western Plains Zoo can confirm that Greig Tonkins is an employee at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” a spokesperson for the zoo said in a statement.
“Good animal welfare and the protection of Australian wildlife are of the utmost importance to Taronga.
“We are working with Mr Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action.”
Mr Tonkins, who works at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, runs in to save his dog Max who is in a headlock. Source: Supplied
Mr Amor said while he hadn’t seen anything like it before, a few older hunter’s had witnessed kangaroos behave in a similar way out in the wild before.
“He [hunter] went in 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.
“The dog Max was fine, just startled because the kangaroo had a hold of him.”
Mr Amor said the dog got away unscathed thanks to a chest plate, which usually protects them from boar tusks.
But as for the kangaroo?
“My mate only stunned it,” Mr Amor said.
“His hand was OK, he didn’t hit it very hard at all.
“It was funny because the guy who did it is the most placid bloke. We laughed at him for chucking such a sh*t punch.”
Mr Amor said he hoped people would turn their attention to watching the DVD in full, which includes the footage of the kangaroo standoff.
“The DVD was released in newsagents last week so people can buy it,” Mr Amor said.
Mr Amor said Kailem, who passed away last week, would be loving all the attention his trip was receiving.
“Kailem would be looking down from up there [heaven] and laughing because it was the highlight of the trip,” Mr Amor said.
Kailem passed away last week at Dubbo Base Hospital, just days after marrying his girlfriend Brandi-Lee.