Elephant keeper Greig Tonkins, 34, found himself at the center of international attention after footage of him punching a kangaroo to save his dog went viral.
Greig was out hunting wild pigs with friends at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales, Australia, when his dog, Max, was attacked by the roo.
Greig immediately ran to help his beloved pup and tried to scare off the large kangaroo by squaring up to it and throwing a punch.
The footage has since been viewed by millions, with some applauding Greig’s bravery and others accusing him of animal cruelty.
A spokesperson for Taronga Zoo has confirmed that Greig is an employee at the zoo, saying: “We are working with Mr Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action.”
One of Greig’s friend defended him, arguing that “the dog wanted no part of it, all it was trying to do was escape from the roo and that’s why [Greig] stepped in.”
“He only threw the punch to redirect the animal and afterwards there were a few nervous and relieved laughs, and then we just went on with [the trip].”