It seems like just yesterday we were all watching that viral video of a hardcore Australian dude punching a kangaroo to save a dog. (Oh, it was.) But now, the backstory has allegedly come to light.
Both the Daily Mail and news.com.au claim they have found the now infamous ‘roo puncher. They identify him as Greig Tonkins, a zookeeper at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales, Australia.
The punch seen ’round the net apparently happened in June while Tonkins and a few friends were on a hunting trip in Condobolin, New South Wales. Mathew Amor, the trip’s organiser, said it was put together for Kailem Barwick, a friend who was battling cancer. (Sadly, Barwick passed away last week.)
According to the news.com.au, the punch was indeed thrown to defend a pup named Max. “This big buck got a hold of my friend’s dog. It just grabbed him,” Amor said.
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo confirmed that Tonkins is an employee, and noted that it was investigating the incident. “We are working with Mr Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action,” the zoo said.
However, according to Amor, good ol’ Greig is mostly harmless. “It was funny because the guy who did it is the most placid bloke. We laughed at him for chucking such a shit punch.” (Nice.)
The Mail says that Tonkins is also a member of the Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association, a pig-hunting organisation, at which Max the dog won a high-jump competition earlier this year. Every time I think this story can’t get more Australian, it does.
Of course, this is the internet, so this entire backstory could be a false. What’s more likely, though, is that the ‘roo punch was a marketing stunt that happened to strike gold; Armour told news.com.au “the DVD [of the whole trip] was released in newsagents last week so people can buy it”.