Noted herpetologist and Head of the Conservation Ecology division of the Coimbatore-based Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), S. Bhupathy, met with a tragic end while on a research trip with two other research fellows on the Agastyarkoodam Hills on Monday. Dr. Bhupathy, 51, had slipped while coming down a rocky terrain deep inside the forest around 2 p.m. and fell into a bamboo cluster beneath, with a sharp bamboo stalk piercing his left eye.

The research fellows with him, Jins V.J. and Madhumita Panigrahi, contacted a colleague at SACON, who in turn alerted the Forest Department and then, along with two tribal guides from the Kani settlement, climbed down to the base-camp at Athirimala, where they were joined by officials from the Forest Department. From there, it took them nearly 12 hours to reach the Kunnatheri Kani settlement, about 25 km downhill around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. Dr. Bhupathy was declared brought dead at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, where the team could reach only by early morning on Tuesday.

  • Dr. Bhupathy slipped while coming down a rocky terrain

  • He fell headlong into a bamboo cluster