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Teen pleads guilty for trespassing into rhino enclosure, killing frog with foosball

Yahoo News logo Yahoo News 25/11/2021 Wan Ting Koh

Warning: Readers may find some of the detailed descriptions in the content of this article disturbing.

SINGAPORE — Already charged for trespass after he did a backflip inside the Singapore Zoo's white rhinoceros enclosure, a youth went on to commit further offences, including animal abuse and drug consumption.

Ralph Wee Yi Kai, 19, will be assessed for a probation suitability report and a reformative training report on Thursday (25 November) after he pleaded guilty to consuming marijuana, causing unnecessary suffering to a frog, possessing imitation tobacco products, trespassing into the rhino enclosure, and committing mischief by damaging property belonging to others.

Another six counts of a similar nature will be considered for his sentencing.

Wee, who is homeschooled, had posted on his TikTok account a video of his backflip at the zoo enclosure, as well as a video of him playing foosball with a live frog. His last post was uploaded two days before he was remanded.

As Wee had also failed to turn up at one of his court mentions, a warrant of arrested was issued and he was then remanded on 6 November, and remains to date. He appeared before District Judge May Mesenas via videolink for his plead guilty mention on Thursday.

Wee's lawyer Shashi Nathan, told the court on Thursday that Wee's offences had emanated from his breakup with his girlfriend, who was the one who filmed the video of his backflip at the rhino enclosure.

Since then, Wee went on a downward spiral as he was in a "severe emotional crisis".

Decided to enter rhino enclosure after watching viral video

The court heard that on 17 December last year, Wee decided to make a viral video after watching one of a man riding a giraffe. He saw that the fence to the rhino enclosure at the zoo was low, so he trespassed into the rhino compound to make his backflip video.

Wee's 18-year-old girlfriend filmed the act and posted it on her private Snapchat account, while Wee posted it on his public TikTok account. It was viewed 55,000 times by the time a police report was made by a deputy director of park operations at the zoo later on the same day.

The deputy director had been alerted to the viral video and sought police assistance due to the dangerous nature of the act and for fear of other copycats.

Wee later removed the video at the behest of the police, but reposted the video on 18 December, before being told again to remove it. He claimed that he thought the video had been made private when he reposted it.

Wee had also included a link to a page selling T-shirts and hoodies with the words "rhino ralph" in his Instagram account biography. However, he denied creating the merchandise profile and later removed the link.

On 4 December last year, Wee was at his friend's home for a Christmas eve gathering. His friend had bought two packets of frogs for a prank.

Wee then placed one of the 17 frogs on a foosball table and directed a ball at high speed towards it. He hit the frog, which died as a result, and the act was filmed by one of his friends. Wee later cut up the dead frog and threw it in a canal.

On 6 August this year, Wee was arrested at his residence and two urine samples obtained for him were later tested positive for marijuana. Wee confessed to smoking cannabis in his bedroom.

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