An Australian tourist was expected to be deported from Bali on Friday after sparking outrage when he climbed a sacred tree a week earlier.
Samuel Lockton, from Melbourne, shocked locals last week when he was spotted climbing the 10-metre banyan tree in a blessed area of Tabanan on June 11.
He was seen taking a selfie while standing shirtless among the vines of the banyan, which had been growing for more than 100 years on the hallowed grounds of a Hindu temple in the Kediri district.
Furious residents alerted the police, who arrived at the area and immediately questioned Lockton for his actions.
Video of Lockton climbing the tree has since gone viral on social media.
The Australian national claimed he was unaware of the tree's sacred properties and was only recording video content to post on his social media.
Anggiat Napitupulu, head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Bali, said Lockton had admitted to climbing several other trees in the area.
"At this time the person concerned has apologised to all Indonesian people, especially the Balinese people for his action," he said.
Lockton had arrived in Bali for a sightseeing trip around the region on June 6. He told police he was "channelling his energy into his hobby" by climbing trees.
Police arranged for a meeting with community elders and temple leaders to perform a ritual that would appease the anger of the spirits he had disturbed. They lit incense and chanted prayers.
Lockton was ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 IDR (A$49), but as he was short on cash, however The Bali Sun reports he only had 150,000 IDR on him.
He told police he would make the full payment in a few days and was sent to an immigration facility to be sent home.
Anggiat Napitupulu, the Head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Bali Province, said Lockton would be deported no later than Friday, Nusa Bali reported.
- With Australscope/ Viral Press
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