Around 46,000 people, mostly poor agricultural labourers, die from snakebite every year.
The snakes versus humans conflict is possibly one of the largest examples of human-animal conflict in India today, but it is also largely ignored. The largest number of deaths due to animals in India is caused by snakebites. A study of snakebite mortality in India published in 2011 found that close to 46,000 people die of snakebite every year, far higher than the official estimates from government hospitals of between 1,300 and 1,400 deaths annually. The report said: “Thus, snakebite remains an underestimated cause of accidental death in modern India, causing about one death for every two HIV-related deaths.”
In contrast, the number of human deaths caused by elephants is anywhere between 100 and 300 a year, according to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund and conservation organisation EleAid.