Actor Matthew McConaughey. Picture: Reuters

Matthew McConaughey saved his baby son from a charging ram while having a picnic at the Grand Canyon.

The 48-year-old actor was enjoying a picnic with his wife Camila Alves, their little boy Levi, who is now 10, and their pet dog when they came face-to-face with the animal, and the 'White Boy Rick' star was forced to throw the tot through the air to protect him.

He recalled: "I got charged by a mountain ram at the edge of the Grand Canyon and had to throw my six-month-old child 15 feet through the air -- to my wife -- to save him."

Matthew explained to talk show host Jimmy Fallon that he managed to shoo away his dog, who was growling at the creature, then threw Levi down to Camila, who had managed to quickly escape down the cliff.

He said: "[Camila] had scooted away down the edge, and after getting rid of the dog, I had to launch Levi through the air...

"The dog was the one p***ing the ram off so I had to get rid of the dog [first]."

However, the danger wasn't over for the 'Dallas Buyers Club' actor.

He explained: "I back up to the edge after I got rid of the dog and my son and I grabbed this little branch and I get behind it and it's this cherry bush and it's about as big as my pinky and I'm like, 'This is not gonna save me at all.' 

"I squared off and just tried to go as Yoda as I could with this ram and just say, 'Not me, whatever it is,' and he was kicking dirt and everything."

Thankfully, Matthew - who also has Vida, eight, and Livingston, five, with his 36-year-old spouse - was able to scare the ram away and eventually realised why it had been so aggressive.

He said: "This was the alpha... We look over on the other side and his harem were on the other side so were between him and all his ladies and he didn't want any other male scent on his mountain.

"I was like, 'Your mountain, sir,' "