Feeds

New Taser made to take down angry bears, moose

Triple-barrelled Yogi-zapper offered to Ranger Smith

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Electric stungun manufacturer Taser International has brought out yet another new weapon, one which could perhaps eclipse even its existing technologies in terms of controversy and media brouhaha.

The new Taser X3W (Wildlife) model is intended to take down, comparatively harmlessly, such adversaries as charging bears or moose as opposed to humans.

"Just as our Taser technology is a safer and more effective option to stop dangerous individuals, the Taser Wildlife ECD [Electronic Control Device] is an extension of Taser's technology to save animal lives," says Rick Smith, Taser CEO. "It is designed to incapacitate larger animals more effectively and safer than current animal control tools."

"We are in the business of protecting lives - and the Wildlife ECD will help wildlife professionals protect wildlife by offering another tool to help resolve human-animal conflicts," added the zapgun kingpin.

The X3W is a modified version of the company's X3 design, and as such overcomes one of the main defects of a regular Taser - the fact that such weapons are normally single-shot only. The X3 models hold three Taser cartridges side-by-side, allowing three discharges before the weapons are empty. Each discharge uses compressed air to send out two metal darts, angled slightly up and down from the horizontal, trailing thin wires back to a battery in the weapon.

Provided that both darts hit the target separated by a reasonable distance, a crippling 20,000-volt pulsed current can then be passed through the victim's body. This will generally cause a human to collapse immediately: and it now emerges, according to experiments by an Alaska Department of Fish and Game operative, that tasing will also incapacitate both brown bears and moose, species which occasionally give the authorities trouble in some regions of the States.

An incident in Oregon also appears to confirm that a Taser will take down an elk.

The argument made by Taser International and wildlife officials in favour of the X3W is much the same as that made for regular law-enforcement models: that the use of the electric weapons, while no fun for the targeted animal, is kinder than other methods which would otherwise be employed. In the case of animals encountering American wildlife officials this would often be the use of tranquilliser darts, but other options routinely used by police against humans - clubs, hand-to-hand combat, mace etc - would generally be ineffective against large creatures and use of lethal force is much more common.

Even so, those who dislike Tasers for use against people allege that the weapons lead cops to use force much more than they otherwise would, and perhaps even to torture suspects much more than they otherwise would.

Taser International says:

While TASER strongly believes that the modification of human behavior is the key to the management of human-animal conflicts, it sometimes becomes necessary for wildlife managers to utilize tools to modify animal behavior.

The firm's critics will no doubt suggest that the Taser X3W will lead humans to confront animals too often.

Taser International unveiled the X3W at the SHOT Show guns'n'security industry expo, underway in Las Vegas this week. There's more on the new weapon here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.