The strange saga of Grieg Tonkins, the man who punched a kangaroo, is drawing to an end. The Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, New South Wales, has confirmed that Tonkins, 34, will keep his job as a zookeeper.
To quickly recap, a video surfaced over the weekend of Tonkins stunning a kangaroo with a right-hand punch to save his dog, Max, while on a boar-hunting trip. It was later discovered that the trip to Condobolin, New South Wales, occurred in June and was for his close friend, 19-year-old Kailem, who was battling Ewing Sarcoma. Kailem died last week.
This is the full video 😂😂😂. Guy saves his dog by taking on a kangaroo. The way he looks at him after the punch 😭 pic.twitter.com/lpCIdlHSzo
— Raz (@raztweets) December 4, 2016
There’s an alternate way to view the video. Critics charged that Tonkins’ punch was not necessary to rescue his dog—especially given that it occurred after the kangaroo had let go of Max—and should be considered animal cruelty. After Daily Mail Australia discovered that Tonkins worked as an elephant keeper at the Taronga Zoo, people “inundated” the zoo with complaints and concern.
Last night, the zoo issued a statement on Facebook.