January 22, 2011
TASER Unveils Wildlife Stun Gun
The company that makes Taser guns unveiled a new version of the device designed for use on large animals.
The gun can temporarily incapacitate bears, moose and other large mammals, and is designed to increase the safety of wildlife authorities and park rangers.
The Wildlife Taser, carrying a price of about $2,000, has a range of up to 35 feet and can fire three shots without reloading. It will save lives by reducing the need for conventional guns to kill or tranquilize the animals, the company said.
"Just as our TASER technology is a safer and more effective option to stop dangerous individuals, the TASER Wildlife ECD is an extension of TASER's technology to save animal lives. It is designed to incapacitate larger animals more effectively and safer than current animal control tools," said Rick Smith, CEO and cofounder of TASER International.
"We are in the business of protecting lives -- and the TASER Wildlife ECD will help wildlife professionals protect wildlife by offering another tool to help resolve human-animal conflicts," said Smith.
The laser-sighted weapon is based on the company's most advanced police Taser, the X3, but is optimized to work on large animals with thick hides. Like other Tasers, it delivers an electric shock by shooting two electrode darts that are attached to conductive wires.
The shock affects the motor nerves immediately and the brain is unable to send signals to the muscles until the charge is turned off.
The company conducted tests in Alaska and Oregon. One incident involving a trapped elk suggests that the device is effective in subduing large animals.
Taser use on humans by police has been met with much controversy, with critics claiming the devices are responsible for more than 200 deaths. The United Nations has also classed them as a "form of torture" because of the "acute pain" they may cause.
But supporters argue that in the right circumstances and used appropriately they are a much safer measure than using traditional firearms, both for police and the public.
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