Zoo Stands Behind Roo-Punching Bloke Despite Calls For Him To Get The Sack

I do not condone punching kangaroos. If someone asked me to endorse them throwing an uppercut at a majestic roo, I would say “No way, José“. But is this man, this brave man, who punched a kangaroo square in the jaw, a criminal? I don’t believe so.
Greig Tonkins became very quickly famous yesterday after a video went viral of him using his powerful arms to protect a dog who got put in a headlock by a surly boomer – if you’ve not seen the video, there’s never been a better time to watch it than right now:
Ethically speaking, it’s not exactly clear cut: the punch was done by a zookeeper (good), but took place on a pig hunting trip (bad) that was done at the request of a terminally ill cancer patient who wanted to go on a hunting trip before he died (good). On the whole, though, I’d probably say Tonkins is not a monster roving the countryside looking for roos to punch, and, by the looks of it, that kangaroo lived to spend another day chewing grass and bending over a lot, as they are wont to do.
Animal rights organisations aren’t so sure. PETA, unsurprisingly, was not stoked:
“Punching a kangaroo in the face is neither brave nor funny. The man in this video should be prosecuted instead of being made out to be a national hero.”
Cards on the table, I’m vegetarian, I love animals, I try and avoid hurting animals wherever I can, but you’ve got to admit it is both a bit brave and a bit funny to punch a kangaroo. Would it be funny if we were all punching kangaroos all the time? Absolutely not. Is it funny that this one bloke did it this one time? A bit, yeah.
Yesterday, Western Plains Zoo, where Tonkins works as an elephant keeper (dream job), said they were considering what action needed to be taken, and the Humane Society International Australia was recommending that they give him the boot:
“It is very disturbing of someone of this character has a position there they would have no trouble filling it with someone who respects animals. We are over rescuing circus elephants in India and we can’t even look after our own species here.”
I’m not entirely sure we have an epidemic of zookeepers punching kangaroos, but that’s none of my business.
The zoo today said that while they don’t condone punching animals (very normal position for a zoo, I reckon) or using animals for hunting, they won’t be letting Tonkins go any time soon:

“Mr Tonkins is an experienced zookeeper and during his six years at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has always followed Taronga’s best practice approach to animal care and welfare.

“We continue to work with Mr Tonkins on his conduct in regards to this incident.”
Don’t fuck this up Greig, if I hear you’ve punched an elephant I’ll be bloody furious.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: YouTube.