Hunter posts photos of his horrific injuries after Kangaroo breaks his jaw with a single headbutt

When we think of the most formidable creatures in the animal kingdom, we normally imagine something with huge teeth or claws, like a bear or a shark, or something venomous, such as a spider or a snake. Rarely do we assume that the most aggressive animals are going to be cute and cuddly - and even when we find out they are, we hardly expect them to take on a human being.

So, when one 19-year-old man attempted to shoot a kangaroo during a hunting trip, he could never have guessed that the creature would retaliate by breaking his jaw.

Joshua Hayden, who went on the trip with his brother near Kellerberrin in Western Australia, posted this picture after being knocked unconscious by a single blow from the kangaroo:

kangaroo headbutt Credit: Joshua Hayden

The damage to Hayden's face occurred while the teenager was attempting to shoot at two kangaroos from a moving car. As he lined up the shot, however, one of the animals charged towards the vehicle.

Usually, when kangaroos attack, they use their strong hind limbs to kick out at their target. "Kick-boxing is where kangaroos really excel," says Ella Davies in a BBC article about fighting tactics in the animal kingdom. "With his opponent in a solid headlock, a dominant male can drive the message home – balancing on his tail and pummelling with his powerful legs, which are tipped with sharp claws."

However, this particular 'roo decided to use a different tactic.

Recalling the incident, Hayden said, "It actually collided with the side of the car and smashed the front window, then it bounced back onto me and headbutted me straight in the jaw."

The hunter was immediately knocked out, and apparently did not regain consciousness for approximately 30 seconds. "I woke up and my brother was trying to tell me what happened," he said. At first, Hayden believed it was his brother that had hit me, but - after showing him the extent of the damage - his brother managed to convince him it was the kangaroo.

Kangaroo at Lucky Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance, Western Australia Credit: Getty

The brothers went straight to the hospital after the attack (which was really more of an act of self-defense), and Hayden was instructed to go to a different emergency department. Unfortunately, he was told that he would have to wait 10 days for the swelling to go down before surgeons could operate, so Hayden is currently walking around with a face full of fractured bones.

"Out of all the times we have been out bush I have never heard of this before," Hayden said after his trip to the hospital. "The kangaroos are going crazy these days. As soon as they see a car they hop right up to it and give it right back."

Red kangaroo, (Macropus rufus), Sturt National Park, Australia, adult jumping. Credit: Getty

This story comes just days after a hunter in South Africa was mauled to death by lions during a poaching trip gone wrong. Of course, it's tragic that someone had to lose their life - and, in this case, break their jaw - in such circumstances, but it's difficult not to feel like the animals secured some justice somehow.

The whereabouts of the kangaroo in this incident is not known, but if you hear about any more hunters being KO'd by a headbutt in Australia any time soon, you can put your money on it being the same rebellious 'roo.