Feeds

New Taser made to take down angry bears, moose

Triple-barrelled Yogi-zapper offered to Ranger Smith

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.