An Australian man “punched a kangaroo in the mouth” to save one of his beloved dogs from drowning.

On Sunday, Mick Moloney was on a morning walk with his pets when he noticed one of the dogs, Hatchi, had gone missing.

Looking at the nearby Australian Murray River in Mildura, Victoria, the former police officer noticed Hatchi gurgling as it emerged from the water, being held by a “monster” kangaroo.

The doting dog owner then walked into the river to free his dog, and filmed the exchange with the wild, “seven-foot-tall” animal.

In the clip he shared on Facebook, Mr Moloney, who reportedly trains in Brazilian jiujitsu, can be heard telling the kangaroo to “let go” of his dog.

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The kangaroo initially remains still, with its arms and bust emerging from the water.

After Mr Moloney gets even closer to get hold of Hatchi, the kangaroo can be seen lunging at the man with both arms.

The man’s phone then falls in the water for a few seconds as the brawl continues.

After the man fishes his phone out of the water, the animal, sporting dangerous claws, can be seen just staring at Mr Moloney, who then manages to return to the river.

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In a post written to accompany the brief, unusual clip, Mr Moloney said: “Morning walk with the pack, got close to the river and Hatchi was missing, next minute he comes up gargling, getting drowned by this monster.

“Never punch a roo in the mouth, it freakin hurts… It grabbed me and tried to drown me too.”

Recalling the incident, Mr Moloney told 7News’ Sunrise: “I got a few (scratches). My forearm was killing me for most of the day. It was a bit of a punch on.”

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Kangaroos can be formidable fighters when they feel threatened.

While incidents between humans and these animals are very rare, there have been a few commotions in recent years.

In June, an American tourist visiting a zoo in Perth grabbed a young kangaroo by the neck after the animal jumped at him and tried to claw him for trying to make it stop following a lady.

In September last year, a 77-year-old man was killed by a kangaroo in southwest Australia – the first deadly accident in Australia involving the animals since 1936.

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