What would happen if you 'Tasered' an elephant?

14 December 2009
Presented by Diana O'Carroll


We find out what would happen if you tried to use a stun gun on an elephant. Would you live to tell the tale? Plus, we ask why dogs need to avoid chocolate...

In this episode

Forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in the swamp Mbeli Bai, Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, Congo

00:00 - What would happen if you Tasered an elephant?

My question is about Tasers; the Tasers they use for crowd control. What would happen if you Tasered an elephant? Would you live to tell the tale? How strong are these things?

What would happen if you Tasered an elephant?

We put this to a real elephant catcher in Africa, Don Grobbler, standing on the top of a sand dune in the wilds of Mozambique when he gave this answer:

Elephants do not like any electric shocks and they will usually react quite severely to them. We use electric fencing in a number of wildlife reserves in Africa. The electric fencing running around an enclosure is generally in the region of 9000 to 12,000 volts, whereas a stun gun will put out about 50,000 volts. Elephants are taught about an electric shock by putting it in a small pen that's about two acres in size for about 24 to 48 hours. When they've been in contact with an electric fence in that situation, they will never touch an electric fence again. We also use electric prodders to move elephants into a truck to transport them. A taser certainly wouldn't floor an elephant but it might scare it. And in most cases, the elephant would try to move away from a stun gun but I wouldn't want to be there if the elephant decided to take some revenge.


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