Anbarasi Boopal, 39, Co-CEO, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)
When we think about working for passion or money, the choice can be a difficult one for many of us to make. For Anbarasi Boopal, Co-CEO, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), she chose to follow her heart.
Passion, grit, and plenty of Redbull – these were what the 38-year-old had in spades when she started working as an animal caregiver with wildlife rescue and conservation non-profit, Acres, in 2007. Then 22 years old, the volunteer-turned-wildlife activist held a master’s in Environmental Management from NUS, and a master’s in Life Sciences from Bharathidasan University in India.
While Anbarasi’s academic credentials could have opened doors to better-paying positions – she did a stint at a human rights charity before joining Acres full-time – the animal lover held firm to her calling in wildlife conservation, which was sparked through the discovery of an Indian star tortoise wandering around her neighbourhood.
“While I was studying at NUS, I found an Indian star tortoise being kept illegally. I was quite sad because they are endangered back in India, and I’ve never seen one in the wild. That set me off to call Acres, and I spoke to [founder] Louis Ng, who came to pick it up. I asked if the tortoise would be returned to India, and he said no, because there was no rescue centre in Singapore. Then, we started discussing building one here,” she says.