The Heartbreaking Story Behind The Guy Who Punched A Kangaroo

by : Tom Percival on : 05 Dec 2016 18:02

Yesterday we reported on the most Australian thing ever, a man punching a kangaroo to save his dog, but it turns out there’s a heartbreaking story behind the hilarity. 


The Mirror reports that the video was in fact filmed by a group of hunters in June, at a rural estate in Condobolin in New South Wales, Australia, and had been organised by strangers to help, Kailem Barwick, a 19-year-old man who was dying of cancer.

And the man who delivered the infamous punch to the violent kangaroo has been identified as Greig Tonkins, a zookeeper who accompanied Kailem on his last hunt.


Kailem was a keen hunter who always dreamed of catching a ‘one tonner’ (100kg) boar. Unfortunately Kailem passed away earlier this month after being diagnosed with sarcoma earlier in the year.


After the hunt, Kailem thanked his group of friends for arranging the expedition on Facebook.

He wrote:

I just wanted this opportunity to express my gratitude for the kindness of strangers to help me with a dream I have in catching a tonner boar with my dogs.

It wasn’t long before I met up with a real good bunch of blokes a young fella like myself could ever ask for. They came from all over the countryside. Greig Tonks from my home town of Dubbo.


Kailem managed to accomplish another dream before he passed on, marrying his childhood sweetheart Brandi-Lee Wadwellon November 27.

Brandi-Lee payed tribute to her late husband after his passing, writing that if she could give one piece of advice from her time spent with Kailem it would be to hold on. Hold on to hope and hold on to every special memory you have.

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: Animals


The Mirror
  1. The Mirror

    Heart-wrenching story behind video of man PUNCHING kangaroo after it attacked his dog