Teen shown in TikTok video doing backflip in rhino enclosure charged with trespass

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Ralph Wee at the State Courts on Jul 12, 2021 (1)
Ralph Wee arrives at the State Courts on Jul 12, 2021. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

(Updated: )

SINGAPORE: A teenager who was shown in a TikTok video doing a backflip in the rhinoceros enclosure at the Singapore Zoo last year was charged in court on Monday (Jul 12).

Ralph Wee Yi Kai, 19, was given one charge each of criminal trespass and vandalism and two counts of mischief.

The police said on Dec 18 last year that they were investigating the incident after a video was posted on TikTok account ralphwee_, showing a man in a face mask riding a tram.

He is later shown in a white rhino enclosure, with the animals in the background. He then performs a backflip before scaling the fence and leaving.

Man to be charged with criminal tresspass into Singapore Zoo enclosure
Screengrabs of a TikTok video showing a man doing a backflip in the Singapore Zoo’s white rhino enclosure. 

The clip was captioned “keep your distance” and “who’s man is this”.

When the video surfaced in December,  Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) – which manages the zoo as well as the Night Safari, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park – called the incident a “reckless and mindless” act.

The police said on Sunday, more than half a year after the alleged crimes, that Wee had been filmed by his companion, an 18-year-old woman.

Police gave a stern warning to her on Monday for abetting criminal trespass, while Wee was charged in court.

Wee’s TikTok account was still live on Sunday under the username @rhino_ralph and is linked to his Instagram account with his previous moniker.

If convicted of criminal trespass, he could be jailed up to three months, fined up to S$1,500, or both.

Mischief carries penalties of up to two years’ jail, a fine, or both.

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