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Last updated: Monday, 1-sept-97 17:49 GMT

Police And Thieves..... And Gorillas!

Johannesburg, South Africa, July 18 1997:
Big!!!
ax, a 26 years old, 190kg (418 pound) gorilla got involved in some realy weird action on friday, July 18. A desperate robber was being chased by police through Johannesburg Zoo. As the policemen were gaining on him he probably thought he needed a good hidingplace so he jumped a fence and entered Max's and his partner Lisa's enclosure. Naturally Max wasn't too happy about this intrusion, and when three policemen followed the robber into the enclosure the robber opened fire upon the police and of course they fired back at him. By now Max was really pissed. He didn't want no gunbattle on his turf, so he jumped the robber. The terrified robber started fireing at Max and in the heat of the moment Max couldn't tell the good guys from
the bad, or maybee he just didn't care, and turned on the policemen. He managed to KO one of the policemen and biting one of the others on the buttocks, the arm and the hand, before he went down hit by three slugs from the robbers weapon.

Zoo officials loaded Max onto a truck serving as an animalambulance and rushed him off to one of the city's top private hospitals where he was X-rayed.
He had been hit in the lower face, in the shoulder and straight through the neck. Veterinary surgeons undertook a delicate operation, removing bulletfragments from the gorilla.
"It's terrible," said zoo spokeswoman Jacqui Thompson. "Our reaction is shock, disbelief, horror, anger."
The two policemen wounded by the gorilla aswell as the robber, who got shot in the hip by the policemen were being treated as hospital as well.
Later on Max could leave the hospital and return home to the zoo to recuperate.

Score: Police: 1, Robber: 1, Gorilla: 2!




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