Hunters searching for wild boar in the outback of Australia came across the frightening sight of a kangaroo with its arm wrapped around the neck of one of the dogs from the hunting party.
The dog's owner, Greig Tonkins, is shown jumping out of the jeep and coming to the rescue of Max the dog in a video that went viral on Sunday and had the videographer defending Tonkins' actions.
Once Tonkins scared the kangaroo into finally releasing the dog, he went toe to toe with the animal like a boxer before landing a punch to the nose that left the kangaroo stunned but otherwise not seriously hurt, or so it appeared.
The reaction in Australia of the actions by an employee of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo was outrage. WA Today reported that some claimed he should lose his job.
"I don't see why a man has to lose his job and his livelihood because there's an uproar over a kangaroo getting punched and not even hard," Greg Bloom, the man who captured the video, told WA Today.
"Why is that an instant reaction? When someone runs into a kangaroo on the road and kills it, do they lose their license? They don't lose their license do they?”
In the video description on YouTube, Bloom told ViralHog that the kangaroo "moves in to try and attack the human" and that "a kangaroo kick to the guts could disembowel the owner easily."
"Our 6-foot-7 friend felt no malice to the kangaroo but had to step in and fix a bad situation before it got worse," Bloom said.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the incident actually occurred in June during a special hunt on a rural property in Condobolin, New South Wales, but the video was only posted over the weekend.
Matthew Amor, part of the hunting party, told the Herald the hunt was for 19-year-old Kailem Barwick, who was dying of cancer. His dream of bagging a "one tonner" (100-kilogram) wild boar came true on the hunt.
Sadly, Barwick died Friday, losing his battle with sarcoma. He had thanked Tonkins and the other hunters "for the kindness of strangers" to arrange the special hunt, WA Today reported.
"This DVD [of the] trip was made and put together for a sick young man who has recently passed away … it was a memory and part of the trip, and gave us a great laugh after," Amor told the Herald.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo told the Daily Mail Australia the zoo is working with Tonkins to "understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action."
Another hunter told the Mail the punch was only thrown to protect the dog and prevent the kangaroo from attacking anyone else.
"Take action?! Why take any action???" Allison Elgenbrod wrote on the Daily Mail Australia Facebook post. "He didn't hurt the animal at all. Alls he did was save his beloved furbaby!!! I'll tell you what, I would have shot that damn thing if that was my dog."
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