During the 1980s, the South African Recces had an official mascot who was even made an honorary Recce. Teddy the Lion was rather domesticated and would hang out on the Special Forces compound. The soldiers would delight in setting him loose on the compound when high-ranking officials came to visit in order to give them a scare.


The following is one humorous story about Teddy, or so one Recce operator thought:

One night, one of the operators was tasked to give Teddy some food, as he was occasionally fed while at Fort Doppies. This particular operator did not appreciate being tasked to do this job in his free time and was quite annoyed. Taking the meat for Teddy, he went to look for him and found him not far outside the front gate of Fort Doppies.

It appeared to the operator that Teddy was in an uncharacteristically bad mood, as he growled at the operator and made striking movements with his front paws. Teddy also didn’t look to be in good shape. The operator was also not in a good mood at having been tasked with feeding Teddy, and this unusual and annoying behavior shown him by the lion further annoyed him.

The operator therefore unceremoniously threw the meat towards Teddy instead of taking it right up to him and stood there shouting at the lion for a few minutes. He then went back into Fort Doppies and walked into the pub—where he saw Teddy sitting at the feet of the other operators.

The operator had found, fed, and shouted at a wild lion.

There are plenty more great stories about Teddy as recalled by South African Recce veterans on their website.