Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

This is coolbert. Animals of the Vietnam War. Now, in a previous post, I have made mention of the rats at Khe Sanh. That the Marines in the garrison knew something really portentous was going on outside the perimeter of the garrison when the rat population en masse deserted for the surrounding area. Now, among the Marines, this was widely believed to be an indicator of very heavy casualties among the besiegers of Khe Sanh, the North Vietnamese army troops. All those dead bodies laying around from Arc Light missions had created a banquet for the rats to feast upon. Yuck!

Now, two other animals have been mentioned in the annals of Vietnam War apocrypha.

One is the tiger population of the war zone. It seems the tigers of the war zone also found good pickings in the areas where Arc Light missions had occurred. This was both good and bad for the tigers. Good in that the number of dead bodies gave an exceptional amount of easy meat available for consumption. Bad in that the tigers too became victims of Arc Light missions. Populations of tigers were supposed to have first gone up, and then precipitously down. Tigers as well as men can be killed by carpet bombing.

The second animal that was also a victim of Arc Light missions was the kouprey. A wild ox that lives in the border region where Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos comes together. Very, very rare, and was last observed by western science in the mid-50's. This oxen is believed by some scientists to be the progenitor of all domesticated cattle and is of great interests to persons wanting to breed a domestic type of cattle that is not susceptible to tropical diseases, etc. It was widely feared that the last of these oxen were killed in Arc Light missions. This has proven to be unfounded, as a herd of these oxen were recently seen by various parties, still on their home range.