ANIMAL rights group PETA has condemned the actions of a man filmed punching a kangaroo, saying he should be prosecuted not hailed a national hero.
"Punching a kangaroo in the face is neither brave nor funny, it's illegal, as is harassing native wildlife with dogs,'' PETA's campaign coordinator Claire Fryer said.
"This incident reportedly occurred as a pack of dogs were running loose, following the trail of a boar while the hunters followed safely in their ute behind.
"Allowing a pack of hunting dogs to run uncontrolled through a group of native animals is highly irresponsible and also goes against all advice from authorities.
"As the kangaroo was punched after the dog was already well clear of his grasp, this was a totally unnecessary act.'' Ms Fryer said in a statement to Australian Regional Media.
"Not only has he assaulted a kangaroo and potentially injured his jaw, nose or eyes, but he has put the dog at risk of serious injury by using him for hunting.
"Kangaroos can also easily develop Stress Myopathy when confronted by dogs and humans, which often leads to a painful death from rhabdomyolysis, even if they at first appear uninjured.
"This kangaroo may well have gone on to suffer for days or even weeks before dying following this incident.
"It's extremely concerning to hear that those involved considered this incident to be the highlight of the trip.
"The man in this video should be prosecuted instead of being made out to be a national hero."
PETA'S statement came despite revelations the incident occurred during a trip for a sick young man called Kailem who died from cancer last week.
Mathew Amor organised the hunting trip in June when the incident occurred, news.com.au reports.
Mr Amor told News Corp he decided to organise a small group of friends, including Kailem, to go on the boar hunting trip at his property in Condobolin, New South Wales, after hearing about Kailem's deteriorating condition.
"Basically Kailem wanted to catch a boar," Mr Amor said.
Was the man's actions justified?
This poll ended on 12 December 2016.
Yes. He was just trying to save his dog
No. He's an idiot and lucky he didn't get hurt
There's no excuse for attacking an animal
He should have walked away after the dog was let go
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"And so a few of us got together to take him out, and another mate filmed more than an hour of video to put together as a DVD for Kailem and his family of the trip."
The DVD, which is now stocked in newsagents, included the minute of footage that has since gone viral.
Kailem passed away last week at Dubbo Base Hospital, just days after marrying his girlfriend Brandi-Lee.
His journey and support has been documented via a GoFundMe page, and will be laid to rest on Thursday.
Man punches kangaroo to save dog in outback Australia
A MAN has punched a kangaroo square in the schnoz and it could be the most Aussie thing you will ever see.
Footage of the event emerged online, showing a man going toe-to-toe with the iconic Australian animal.
It was less savage than a man trying to see how his boxing skills measure against Skippy, with the Aussie attempting to save his pet dog from the roo.
Since being posted to Facebook, it has been viewed millions of times.
The footage shows Greg rushing toward his dog Max - who is being held by the kangaroo.
When the man approaches, the roo lets go of the dog and turns his attention to the human.
"The buck roo sees the odds stacking against him and tries to get the dog with its claws one last time," the narrator of the video said.
"Its powerful arms anchor the dog by the breastplate as Max doubles his efforts to escape.
"Finally the roo switches his attention to 'Donks' and sizes up the human to be his next victim.
"Donks gives the kangaroo his face but the cranky buck comes forward ready to attack."
Unfazed by the prospect of going toe-to-toe with one of natures best boxers, Greg lands a right hand on the kangaroo's snout.
The kangaroo appeared to be shocked, but not visibly hurt and after being punched, he makes a quick getaway.
Only in Straya!