Taronga Western Plains Zoo defends kangaroo-punching employee

Taronga Western Plains Zoo defends kangaroo-punching employee

When it comes to going the extra mile, HR has a bit of a monopoly on the topic. But how far should employees go in the line of duty?

A video has emerged on social media showing an Australian zoo keeper, Greig Tonkins, punching a kangaroo in order to save his pet dog. The video has divided viewers, with some calling on Taronga Western Plains Zoo to fire Tonkins – even though he was not at work at the time the incident took place.

The zoo has since released a statement which described Tonkins as an "experienced" and "valued member of staff" – The Telegraph reports.

“Taronga has been inundated with concern for Mr Tonkins, as well as enquiries regarding Taronga’s position on the events,” the statement reads.

“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 confirm that there is no suggestion of Mr Tonkins’ employment at Taronga Western Plains Zoo ending as a result of this event.”

This incident raises the question of whether or not an employee can be fired for something they did outside of work. Earlier this year, a slew of American officials were fired after racist comments calling Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” surfaced on Twitter.

The Mayor of the town of Clay in West Virginia resigned, and the Director of a government-funded agency was removed after they chimed in on a status from Pamela Ramsey Taylor, Director of the Clay County Development Corp, who wrote: "It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I'm tired of seeing [a] Ape in heels.”

Do you think an employee should be fired for something they did outside of work, or not? Tell us in the comments…

Comments (2)

  • Reasoned Thought
    Reasoned Thought
    Sun, 18 Dec 2016 12:51pm GMT
    Purely circumstantial and based upon the infraction. Now if it is a company sponsored event with the employee off the clock and a policy is violated, then yes; a employee should be subject to termination.
  • Big Dog
    Big Dog
    Wed, 7 Dec 2016 4:28pm GMT
    I think this man did the right thing, if i was judged for my out of work activities, in my own time, i would never be employed. Good on you sir... A dog is a man's best friend after all!

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