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19-year-old charged with trespass into rhino enclosure at Singapore Zoo for TikTok backflip stunt

SINGAPORE — A 19-year-old teenager who allegedly jumped into an enclosure at the Singapore Zoo and posted a TikTok video of a backflip there was on Monday (July 12) charged with criminal trespass.

19-year-old charged with trespass into rhino enclosure at Singapore Zoo for TikTok backflip stunt

Ralph Wee arriving at the State Courts (left) on July 12, 2021, and a screengrab of a TikTok video (right), where a young man is seen in a rhinoceros enclosure at the Singapore Zoo.

SINGAPORE — A 19-year-old teenager who allegedly jumped into an enclosure at the Singapore Zoo and posted a TikTok video of a backflip there was on Monday (July 12) charged with criminal trespass.

Ralph Wee Yi Kai faces one count of criminal trespass as well as three unrelated charges of mischief and vandalism.

He is accused of going into the zoo’s rhinoceros enclosure at about 2.40pm on Dec 17 last year to perform a backflip stunt.

The video, which has since been removed from his TikTok account @ralphwee_, was circulated online. 

Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages the zoo on Mandai Lake Road, filed a police report on the same day, calling it a “reckless and mindless act”.

The video showed a young man doing a backflip before leaping out of the enclosure over a fence. 

Two white rhinos were seen in the background while he performed the stunt.

On Sunday evening, the police said their early investigations showed that Wee’s companion, an 18-year-old woman, allegedly filmed him before he posted the video.

After investigations and consultations with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the police — who did not name the woman — said that they issued a stern warning to her last Thursday for abetting criminal trespass.

As for Wee’s unrelated charges, court documents showed that he allegedly vandalised a bus-stop information panel along Sixth Avenue at 2.40am on Oct 9 last year by hitting it. The damage amounted to S$900.

That same morning, he is said to have hit the side mirrors of two luxury cars — a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz — at 1, Sixth Crescent nearby.

The damage to the BMW totalled about S$1,669 and that for the Mercedes-Benz came to around S$2,793.

A prosecutor said that investigations into another charge were under way, while Wee’s lawyer said that his client had been cooperative and was not a flight risk. 

His mother was present in court on Monday.

District Judge Terence Tay set Wee’s bail sum at S$15,000 to take into account the potential new charge.

Wee will return to court on Aug 16.

Those convicted of criminal trespass can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$1,500, or punished with both.

Vandalism carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of S$2,000. Offenders can also be caned.

Mischief is punishable with up to a year in prison or a fine, or both.

Related topics

crime court mischief Singapore Zoo white rhino TikTok police Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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