An Australian man was filmed while punching a kangaroo to save his dog from the dangerous marsupial, the Daily Express reports. The clip has since become viral and has caused sensation in the media. It has also sparked some rather heated debates on whether the man should have hit the kangaroo or not.

A tense situation

The man, who’s name is Greig Tonkins, was on a hunting trip with a few friends. The goal of the trip was to hunt boars in order to fulfill the wish of a dying friend who was suffering from a terminal disease.

The situation soon turned out dangerous however, as one of the hunting party’s dogs encountered a kangaroo which was hostile towards him.

The kangaroo got the dog in a headlock, meaning to kick him badly. Greig, who knew how to handle such animals, immediately stepped up to rescue his pet. When he arrived near the wild kangaroo, the angry marsupial was still holding the dog tight, and as he let go of him in order to tackle Greig, he kicked the canine one last time in the stomach.

After releasing the dog, the kangaroo stood up on two legs in order to measure up with the tall man. But before the animal could attack, Greig sucker punched the marsupial before it even knew what hit him. The male kangaroo seemed stunned by the hit, and apparently stared in disbelief at his adversary. Seizing the opportunity, Greig also retreated so things wouldn’t degenerate into an altercation. Luckily, the animal chose to retreat deeper into its territory, instead of pursuing Greig or the dogs any further.

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This scuffle between man and kangaroo was caught on video and quickly became a viral sensation. As of writing this article, the Youtube clip of the encounter has gathered over 28 million views, which it reached in under a week.

The video also caused a furor of a different kind

While many have praised Greig for his quick thinking and resolving the conflict without having his dog killed, or harming the kangaroo badly, there was still some backlash online. Some animal rights activists have condemned the act as cruel and unnecessary. Furthermore, after finding out that Greig works as an elephant keeper at the Taronga Zoo in Australia, some went as far as to write to the zoo'a administration, demanding that Greig be fired from his job.

Fortunately for the zookeeper and family man, the representatives of Taronga Zoo have declared that there are no intentions to lay off Greig after the incident.