18 July 1997
A mountain gorilla, Max was shot and wounded as he grappled with a fleeing armed robber who jumped into his zoo enclosure. The suspect, Isaac Mofokeng, ducked inside the gorilla's night room and came face to face with Max. Max was feeling quite protective over companion Lisa, another mountain gorilla, with whom he was sharing a special moment at the time. He grabbed the man, who shot him three times. The police also jumped into the enclosure. A gunfight ensued in which the robber was shot in the groin. Max, by now enraged, bit Constable Robert Tshabalala on his arm and buttocks, broke the arm of Sergeant Rassie Rassenele and caused Constable Amos Simelane to break his ankle as he scrambled clear. Max's feat earned him the title "Newsmaker of the Year" from the Johannesburg Press Club. References: Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad : Human & Rousseau