Novel mascot for Diggers DPR/TV/1266

Accession Number F04435
Collection type Film
Measurement 1 min 24 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/sound
Maker Bellis, Christopher John
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Nui Dat
Date made 8 April 1970
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Soldiers at the 1st Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat in South Vietnam, are inveterate collectors of pets. Dogs, monkeys, a turkey, snakes and a pig, all are well looked after by the troops in their off duty hours. One of the more unusual pets is a Vietnamese honey bear now being cared for by men of the Task Force's Headquarters Company. The bear, named Rachael, is one of the most pandered pets in the Task Force and is getting some of her daily ration of milk from Corporal Bob Charles of Newmarket, Qld, and an orange from Captain Horst Kuessner of Mount Hawthorn, WA. Rachael's mother was accidentally shot by infantry when she stumbled into their night location and set off trip flares. In the morning the soldiers found the hungry cub and flew it back to Nui Dat. When she is full grown to five feet tall she will present a problem but it is hoped to find her a comfortable home in the Saigon zoo. Rachael will certainly be too used to a life of luxury to return to her natural habitat in the jungles of Phuoc Tuy Province. Also identified: Corporal (Cpl) Murry Stewart of Ipswich, Qld; Trooper Ron Clark of Sunshine, Vic; Cpl Ian Rogers of Daylesford, Vic.

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