The Story of Max, South Africa's Famous, Crime-fighting Gorilla


An image of strength and power, this portrait features an adult male silverback Western lowland gorilla standing on all fours next to a log and looking out at the viewer. Debi Dalio / Getty Images

When confronted with a home invasion, Max the gorilla brought international fame to the Johannesburg Zoo and briefly became the city's most famous crime fighter. He received numerous endorsements, and a statue was erected in his honor. But what brought Max to this level of celebrity? Join Ben and Noel as they delve into the story of Max the crime-fighting gorilla and the disturbing cultural context that made South Africa regard him as a symbol of justice that too often eluded the average citizen.