Greig Tonkins, the man who punched a kangaroo to save his dog – and had a graffiti made in his honor, was among a group of persons who organized a hunting trip in honor of their member Kailem, who was suffering from terminal cancer.
Mathew Amor, the person who recorded the incident in June, said Kailem had wanted to go on a last hunting trip in Condobolin, New South Wales, but couldn’t make it due to the illness.
The now viral YouTube video was recorded with a DVD camcorder for their cancer-stricken friend.
Standing at more than 200 centimeters tall, Mr Tonkins [an elephant keeper] squared it out with the huge marsupial in the online footage which has been viewed more than a million times.
“This hunting trip was put together for a sick young man called Kailem who passed away from cancer last week,” Amor told News.com.au.
“My mate only stunned it,” Amor claimed.
“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 [expletive] punch.”
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo confirmed Tonkins is an employee, but adds they’ll carry out investigations on the hunting incident.
“Good animal welfare and the protection of Australian wildlife are of the utmost importance to Taronga,” a spokesperson for the zoo said in an official statement.
“We are working with Mr. Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action.”
Sadly, Tonkins’ friend Kailem passed away after the battle with cancer. One of his fellow hunters who witnessed the fight with a kangaroo said he’s not happy with the negative reactions from some Australians.
In his words: ‘The video went viral in America and there was not one bad comment, and then it goes crazy in Australia and there’s a whole bunch of outrage.
‘It made me sick to be part of this country when people were wishing this family man and dog died, when the kangaroo wasn’t even hurt.’