Nui Dat Zoological Gardens
The Australian Task Force orders prohibited the keeping of pets in unit lines. This was mainly for health reasons.
As usual, some of the soldiers accepted this as a challenge and contrived many way to keep illicit pets from authorities. These ranged from lizards in matchboxes, snakes in metal trunks and an assortment of mouse-like creatures in cardboard boxes. For animals that could not be easily concealed, such as monkeys, they usually requested permission on the basis that the pet would be kept as a unit mascot. However, because of the Task Force's orders, these requests were always refused.
One day some of my soldiers informed me that they had found a hive of bees in a tree and requested permision to keep them in unit lines in a box they would construct. They explained that this would provide a source of fresh honey and create an interest for the unit. Unable to visualise any health problems or other problems except a few bee stings, I gave permission. The soldiers then went off in a Landrover to collect the hive.
Upon their return I was curious to see the new unit acquisition. On peering into the the back of the Landrover I was amazed to see a pile of thousands of bees — all bright green
Amazed, I remarked that I never expected Vietnamese bees would be green. I was advised that they were not normally that colour — it was just that a green smoke grenade had been used to flush them out.