Singapore — A teenager was charged in court on Monday, Jul 12 after he was seen in a TikTok post performing a backflip in a rhino enclosure at the Singapore Zoo last year.
Ralph Wee Yi Kai 19 years old, was also charged with two charges of criminal trespass and pleaded guilty of damage. He is charged with breaking into the white rhinoceros enclosure at Mandai Zoo on Dec 17 last year and for smashing the side mirrors of a Mercedes Benz and a BMW, causing damages of a total S$4,461.9, on Oct 9, 2020, at Sixth Crescent.
On Dec 18, last year, the police reported that they were investigating the incident after a video of a man wearing a face mask riding a tram was posted on TikTok account ralphwee_.
Later, he is shown in a white rhino enclosure, with the animals in the distance. He then flips backwards before climbing the barrier and escaping. The video was captioned by the phrases “keep your distance” and “who’s man is this?”
When the TikTok clip first appeared in Dec, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which administers the zoo as well as the Night Safari, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park, called it a “reckless and mindless” behaviour.
The police stated on Sunday, and over a year since the alleged criminal actions, that Wee was videotaped by his companion, an 18-year-old woman, who was also given a strict warning by the police for facilitating the criminal trespass, while Wee was charged in court.
Wee has been granted bail of S$15,000 for now, as requested by his lawyer, claiming that his parents would see to it that he appeared in court next month.
Wee may face up to three years in prison and a S$2,000 fine if proven guilty of vandalism. And if convicted of criminal trespass, he may face up to three months in prison, a fine of up to S$1,500, or both. Mischief behaviour also carries penalties of up to two years’ jail, a fine, or both. He may also be given between three and eight strokes of the cane for vandalism.
Divyanshi Singh is an intern at The Independent SG/TISG
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