Major (Ret) Abdul Samad


Major (Ret) Abdul Samad
On Monday 28 May 1990 morning, I made my way to my office in Tekong expecting a routine week ahead. Nothing could have prepared me for the exciting events that were to unfold over the next two weeks. 

As soon as I stepped into my office one of my hygiene staff, SGT Chee came to inform me that there were signs of wild rhinoceroses on the island!  In his agitated and excited state, he was not very coherent.  After calming him down I asked him to take me to the spot where he had seen these signs.

He took me to a spot in Kampong Salabin, where I saw many uprooted coconut trees and droppings of unknown, apparently huge, animals, littering the whole area.  I realised that uprooting coconut trees must have taken tremendous strength and that the wild animal or animals that had done it must have been quite huge.

The thought that the animals could be elephants did not cross my mind even then; probably because that would have been the last thing to have happened. I decided it was best to seek professional help from the Singapore Zoological Gardens, to determine what animal or animals could have caused such extensive destruction. 

I directed one of my men to collect a sample of the animal’s dung, and sent my Hygiene Officer to the zoo with the specimen, to seek some answers to the mystery.  


Read the full story and 24 other stories in the book ‘Old Soldiers Don’t Fade Away, They tell Stories’ published by the SAF Veterans League (SAFVL).

Available at $10 special discounted price at the SAFVL Secretariat, SAFRA Toa Payoh, Level 3 (next to the bowling alley) during normal office hours 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Do call ahead at Tel: 6355 4507.