KUALA TERENGGANU - Any paleontologist would say that discovering dinosaur fossils is one of the best moments in his career.
For Prof Dr Mohd Shafea Leman, arriving at that point was a long, tortuous affair.
The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) paleontologist said that the discovery of the dinosaur fossil at Mount Gagau, Hulu Terengganu was a result of many years of perseverance and personal belief.
"My first expedition to Mount Gagau was in 1997, and after studying the rocks of that mountain, I knew it was very possible for dinosaur fossils to be found there.
"I came back in 2008 and I hoped to find dinosaur fossils, but failed again.
"This is my third expedition and finally, I found dinosaur fossils, proving all along that what I said in 1997 was true," said Mohd Shafea, describing the moment as a mix of euphoria and relief.
"It was an exciting and proud moment but at the same time, I was relieved as I only have a few years left before retiring.
"I guess you could say I was third time lucky!" he chuckled.
Mohd Shafea said the discovery showed that dinosaurs once roamed Malaysia, and he is optimistic that more remains will be found in the country.
"Hopefully, this would also stir more interest in palaeontology amongst Malaysians."