Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A stripe-studded night

On a balmy night in September, 160 people gathered at HortPark for Cicada Tree's Save the Malayan Tiger Fundraiser for Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT). 

Above: The inspirational Dr Kae Kawanishi

The event kicked off with a traditional Indian dance by primatologist Jayasri and her students. Dr Kae Kawanishi then gave a talk which brought us through her inspiring career and personal journey in tiger conservation. Most poignantly, she showed us some photographs of mutilated tigers which had been caught in snare traps, as well as a large area of once-forested, illegally logged tiger habitat in Malaysia, now shockingly bare. 

Above: Dr Kae showing us a slide on tiger populations. The situation is even more dire now, where only 250-340 Malayan tigers remain in the wild in Malaysia.

The dwindling number of Malayan Tigers left in the wild is a reminder that, even as things may look rosy at a certain point in time, conservation is an ongoing process and requires sustained work in order to ensure the long-term success of conservation programmes. 

This was certainly food for thought as guests feasted on a generous vegan spread. The beautiful Lysa Aya Trenier and Joann Wu took turns to entertain guests with melodious numbers that tugged at our heart-stripes. 

Above: The delicious vegan buffet.

Above: Lysa Aya Trenier singing her original composition.

Above: Lysa Aya Trenier with Teresa Teo-Guttensohn, event host and one of Cicada Tree's co-founders. 

Above: Joann Wu receiving her book from Vilma D'Rozario and Teresa Teo-Guttensohn, Cicada Tree co-founders.   

Given the sombre statistics on the Malaysian Tiger, it is certainly cause for celebration that, thanks to your help, we raised a net sum of SGD $40,000 towards the cause! The money was raised through dinner ticket sales, a silent auction of artwork donated by Teresa Teo-Guttensohn, as well as a holiday stay at Nikoi Island generously donated by the island management. 

As promised, SGD $8000 will go directly to MYCAT for tiger conservation work, $4000 to the Animal Concerns, Research and Education Society (ACRES) and $4000 will be put aside for small grants for students who want to do research on biodiversity in Singapore and the region (Watch this space; we will call for applications later this year!). The bulk of funds raised ($24000) will go toward subsidies for people living in Singapore who want to do citizen conservation work on tiger conservation at the Sungei Yu Tiger Corridor in Pahang, Malaysia. By doing this, we hope to spread the message that citizens can make an impact in conservation. CTEP is now in discussion with MYCAT on arrangements for CAT Walks this year. 

Upcoming CAT Walks (Citizen Action for Tigers) are 14-17 Mar, 3-6 April, 17-20 April, 1-4 May, 30 May-2 June, and 13-16 June. To find out more, please email vilma.drozario(at) or teresaguttensohn(at)! Visit MYCAT's facebook page and website to find out more. See you soon!

Above: Cicada Tree committee presenting with Dr Kae with one of Teresa Teo-Guttensohn's artworks.

Above: Friends of Cicada Tree table.

Above: Prof Lye Lin Heng and friends.

Above: Young researchers table.

Above: Singapore American School.

Above: Singapore American School students.

Above: Vilma and National Institute of Education (NIE) volunteers.

Above: Shamla, Bee Choo and Sophia.

Above: Our youngest diner Ella!

Above: Tiger mom act by Teresa and her daugher Tia.

Once again, 2015 CAT Walks (Citizen Action for Tigers) are 14-17 Mar, 3-6 April, 17-20 April, 1-4 May, 22-25 May, and 13-16 June. To find out more, please email vilma.drozario(at) or teresaguttensohn(at)! Visit MYCAT's facebook page and website to find out more. See you soon!

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