Sunday, June 26, 2022

Villagers outraged after topless guy climbed ‘sacred tree’ in viral TikTok video

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Samuel Lockton, an Australian tree climber, was fined and forced to apologize to residents of Kelici Kelod village after he taped himself topless climbing a sacred tree

An Aussie guy has been fined after horrified villagers saw him climbing a 10-metre-tall sacred tree in the cemetery grounds in Bali.

Samuel Lockton was seen shirtless climbing the tree at around 3pm (local time) on June 11 in Kelici Kelod village, Tabanan, to watch a video which he uploaded as TikTok content.

But his attempt to entertain his followers sparked a spate of police reports from local residents, as the tree he climbed is in a sacred area.

Tabanan Police Chief Police Commissioner Adjutant Ranefli Dian Candra added: “Residents of Abiantuwung village have also reported the incident.”

Lockton was taken to the Kediri Police Sector office and then met with traditional leaders and several community representatives who were also present.

He claimed during interrogation that he didn’t know the tree was sacred and that he was just pursuing his hobby, which he usually does in his country.

His TikTok content often features his tree climbing antics as he enjoys taking in the beauty of the surroundings from a great height.

Lockton admitted his mistake and apologized for the distress caused.

Residents demanded a fee of RP500,000 (£27.44) for the Guru Piduka ceremony, a tradition performed to neutralize anything that intentionally or unintentionally pollutes nature.

However, as Lockton brought only Rp 150,000 (£8.35) with him, it was agreed he would pay the rest over the coming week.

“This has been approved by the traditional leaders and representatives of the residents present. As for the next steps, the steps in question will be submitted to the Immigration Service for further processing,” the commissioner added.

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The news comes after a Russian yoga influencer faced six years in prison after posing nude under a sacred tree in Bali for a social media post.

Instagram star Alina Yoga shared the pictures online of her posing nude at the site of the 700-year-old weeping paperbark tree known locally as Kayu Putih.

The photos show her sitting naked on the trunk, pressing her breasts into the bark while looking over her shoulder.

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