It may be one of the most bizarre battles fought in the animal kingdom.
A video uploaded to Facebook on Saturday appears to show a man punching a kangaroo in its face after coming across the marsupial attacking a dog.
The video, which has been viewed more than 3.6 million times as of Sunday afternoon, shows the man running up to the canine-kangaroo skirmish.
“Well, we’re not sure what’s going on here but the roo has the dog, not the other way around,” a man narrating the video says.
Upon seeing the man, the kangaroo pauses. The distraction allows the wriggling dog to break free, sparking a near eye-to-eye boxing match between the man and the kangaroo.
The man throws a punch at the kangaroo after it gives a few intimidating hops, sending the animal recoiling backward. The kangaroo then appears to stand motionless before eventually hopping away.
It’s not clear exactly when or where the video was shot. The American man who first posted it to his Facebook page told The Huffington Post that his friend in Australia had sent it to him and that the incident had occurred during a hog-hunting trip. The dog is now OK, he added. The man who apparently owns the video did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Although often portrayed as cuddly creatures, kangaroos are known to be extremely powerful and dangerous to both humans and animals.
In October, a kangaroo hopped into a Melbourne family’s backyard and killed a small dog before turning on a man and leaving him badly clawed and needing medical attention, 9News reported.
And in May, a kangaroo attacked two cyclists in southern Australia, leaving one woman with three cracked ribs and the other with a concussion, The Telegraph reported at the time.
Anyone who has been attacked by a kangaroo should roll themselves into a ball on the ground and cover their neck, suggests Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
Because the animals are known to attack by kicking and scratching, the department advises finding a stick, branch or tree to use as protection.
“Turning your back on it and running could be dangerous as a large male can easily outrun you and still kick at the same time,” the department says. “Turn side-on and protect the front of your body with your arms and keep your head as far away from the animal as possible to minimise the risk of being scratched on the face.”