TikTok

This TikToker Backflipped in Front of Rhinos, Then Got Charged by the Police

He wasn’t charged at by the rhinos that day but now faces a charge for criminal trespass. 
July 13, 2021, 3:28am
Singaporean TikToker Backflipped in Front of Rhinos at the Zoo Then Got Charged With Criminal Trespassing
For illustrative purposes only. Collage: VICE / Images: (L) Georgia Mashford and (R) Daley van de Sande, Unsplash

“What’s Ralph Thinking About,” reads the starting text of a TikTok video. Then, the clip cuts to a guy doing a backflip inside an enclosure, in front of seemingly indifferent white rhinoceros, before scuttling out of the barricaded area.

Shot in the Singapore Zoo, the TikTok video brought notoriety to a 19-year-old when it circulated on social media. Now he’s facing criminal charges for the stunt. 

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The TikToker was identified as Ralph Wee Yi Kai, local media reported

In a statement released on Sunday, the Singapore Police Force said Wee will be charged with criminal trespass. The authorities were notified of the case by the Singapore Zoo after the video spread in December last year. 

The video was allegedly taken by an unidentified 18-year-old woman and uploaded onto the TikTok account @ralphwee_, said the police statement.

At the time the video was reported, many were outraged at the teen’s reckless behavior, calling him “irresponsible.”

Around the same time, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the organization that manages the Singapore Zoo, addressed the incident in an Instagram story that is now saved as a highlight on its profile.

“This is a reckless and mindless act which is socially irresponsible, extremely dangerous and simply disrespectful to wildlife and our animals,” the statement read. 

White rhinos are grazing mammals deemed “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in its Red List.

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The backflipping video appears to have been taken down from the original TikTok account, but it has been reposted on other social media platforms

The last video on the TikTok account was posted on June 18. Wee did not immediately respond to VICE’s request for comment via email and Instagram messages.

If found guilty of criminal trespass, Wee may be jailed up to three months and/or fined up to SG$1,500 ($1,110).

According to the police, he also faces additional unrelated charges of vandalism and mischief. Wee allegedly damaged a public sign at a bus stop as well as the side mirrors of two cars.

Wee is currently out on a SG$15,000 ($11,100) bail which takes into account his various charges.

“The police take a strong stance against persons who blatantly disregard rules of public attractions and commit selfish acts that may endanger their lives,” the police’s statement read.

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