Kangaroo stands in the river, attempting to drown a dog
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Watch: Man Punches Kangaroo in the Face to Save His Dog

It's not uncommon for kangaroos to drag predators into the water.

What started as a morning walk along the river turned into a martial arts battle for one Australian man. Mick Moloney, a former cop, noticed that one of his dogs, Hutchy, was missing. His other dogs, which normally run and play in the water, were avoiding it.

He glanced out over the water, and everything became clear. There was a "7ft tall" kangaroo with his arms under the water. His dog was at the other end of his arms, being drowned in the Murray River by the kangaroo. Suddenly, "Hutchy came up gasping for air, water spilling out of his mouth and screaming his head off," Moloney said. Without hesitation, Moloney ran into the water to rescue his buddy.

A Fight With a Kangaroo

The water rescue was filmed by Moloney and shared on TikTok. In the video, Moloney tells the kangaroo, "I'm going to punch your f—-in head in." The kangaroo had very little interest in complying and held on tight to the dog's head. The dog seemed extraordinarily calm despite the dangerous situation he was in.

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To save his pup from further harm, Moloney hauled off and punched the kangaroo, which was shocked by the attack and stumbled backward. But he wasn't shocked enough not to retaliate. The video gets a little jumbled as the two scuffle in the water. All you hear are the sounds of the two fighting. Despite being trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Moloney admits that the kangaroo bested him, but he and his dog both got away anyway.


Watch the viral moment an Aussie man jumped into an outback river to save his dog from a wild kangaroo. The video, captioned ?martial arts are for everyone, even kangaroos?, has been viewed over 33 million times. #news #australia #kangaroo

? original sound - SBS News

"I got a few (scratches)," Moloney told Sunrise. "My forearm was killing me for most of the day. It was a bit of a punch on."

Do Kangaroos Try to Drown Predators?

Kangaroo ecologist Graeme Coulson with the University of Melbourne told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the kangaroo's actions are not uncommon.

"There's a very strong instinct—kangaroos will go to water if they're threatened by a predator," Coulson said. "In the case of a big male [kangaroo], they can definitely drown dogs. If the dog swims out to them, they've got strong arms and big claws, and they can drown [the dog]."

Kangaroos are not the only ones that deploy this tactic with predators. Coulson said, "I've seen wild dogs chase impala into dams. I've seen buffalo waiting in water surrounded by hyenas. But they tend to just wait [in the water] until the animal gets bored. I don't think it's about trying to drown them."

Moloney is lucky that his dog made it out of the scrape alive. Coulson told the outlet that his neighbor lost two terriers to the same situation. After the two dogs were lost, the neighbor kept the third dog locked up for its own safety.

Many viewers were incredibly concerned about the dog and criticized Moloney for filming the encounter. One wrote, "I love my dog so much, I'm gonna stop, get my phone out, turn on the camera, then save him."

Others were shocked by how buff kangaroos are. Kangaroos jump far and high to get food and protect themselves from predators. They also have powerful hind legs and start training to fight when they are young, beginning with duking it out with their moms and then with other males their age.

Moloney is lucky to have escaped his fistfight with the kangaroo with a few scrapes and his dog alive.

READ MORE: Wallaby vs. Kangaroo: 5 Differences Between These Macropods