Video shot in June but going viral this week shows a dramatic encounter between a large male kangaroo and a man in Australia.
The man, who was reportedly out pig hunting with his dog and several friends in rural New South Wales, saw that his hunting dog was being forced into a headlock by a large kangaroo. The man, reported to be Greig Tonkins, 34, rushed up to help his dog.
Startled, the kangaroo let go of the dog. But Tonkins—who told media that he wanted to scare off the kangaroo and give his dog a chance to retreat—punched the marsupial in the face.
“The guy’s very lucky because he could have been killed,” says Marco Festa-Bianchet, a National Geographic explorer who studies kangaroos and who is a biologist at University de Sherbrooke in Quebec.
Contrary to popular belief, kangaroos don’t normally try to box, or punch, each other, says Festa-Bianchet. Instead, they prefer to balance on their strong tails and kick with their powerful back legs.
“If the kangaroo had done that to the guy it could have disemboweled him,” says Festa-Bianchet.
You can enjoy the following video