Extraordinary moment wallaby turns tables on invasive predator

European foxes are responsible for killing millions of native animals and birds, so wildlife workers were excited to see a wallaby fight back.

Inset - the wallaby after it chased the fox away. Background - the fox before it was chased away.
A fox has been chased by a territorial wallaby. Source: WIRES

Extraordinary video shows an Australian marsupial turning the tables on an invasive predator that’s contributed to the extinction of several native species Down Under.

The 15 second clip, supplied by wildlife rescue agency WIRES, shows a European red fox nesting in a forest on the NSW South Coast. Iconic sounds of bellbirds can be heard in the distance.

The fox darts its ears around and then suddenly runs out of the camera’s frame. A second later we find out why when a wallaby bounds across the screen in pursuit.

But the best part of the video is yet to come.

Out of shot we can hear a ferocious growling sound, but it’s not coming from the fox. It’s made by the wallaby!

The fox runs past the stationary camera once again as it's chased by the angry wallaby. Once the coast is clear, the marsupial takes a moment to rest and enjoy its regained territory.

While the footage may be funny to watch, there is a serious reason we're sharing it. Invasive species have contributed to the extinction of more Australian mammals than any other factor, other than humans.

The footage was unintentionally collected by volunteers from WIRES who set up a motion-activated camera in forest near Albion Park.

Related: Distressing footage of cat mauling wallaby sparks warning to pet owners

Rebecca Daly had positioned the camera as part of her search for a wombat which had been reported to have mange – a deadly disease that's killed thousands of wombats after it was spread across the state by foxes.

WIRES spokesperson John Grant said volunteers had spotted plenty of feral cats when reviewing wildlife camera footage, but “never anything like this wallaby defending its territory”.

“It is encouraging example of a native species challenging a Priority Pest,” he said.

Go you good thing.

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new newsletter showcasing the week’s best stories.