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Author Topic: Idaho boy injured, family dog killed by government 'cyanide bomb'  (Read 358 times)


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SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A "cyanide bomb" planted by U.S. predator-control agents targeting coyotes near homes and hiking trails in Idaho exploded when a boy handled the device, injuring him and killing his dog, authorities and relatives said on Friday.

Canyon Mansfield, 14, was playing with his yellow Labrador retriever, Casey, on Thursday afternoon near his home east of Pocatello when he saw what he thought was a sprinkler head on the ground and touched the device, causing it to detonate.

The explosion sprayed the boy and his 3-year-old, 90-pound (40 kg) pet with toxic cyanide gas, according to the boy's mother, Theresa Mansfield.

“Canyon said there was a bang like a bomb, then an explosion of an orange substance that covered him and Casey, who was writhing in pain on the ground before he died right in front of Canyon,” she said.

Her husband, Pocatello physician Mark Mansfield, rushed to the scene and pounded on the dog’s chest in a futile effort to revive the animal.

The family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures and the boy, who was sprayed in the face, was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.

The device, called an M-44, was among several placed in the area by Wildlife Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that targets coyotes, wolves, cougars, foxes and other animals considered nuisances to farms and ranches.

The agency has been sued by conservation groups claiming that its programs to poison, trap and shoot various predator species violate federal environmental and wildlife protection laws.

Thursday's incident marked the first "unintentional lethal take of a dog" by an M-44 in Idaho since 2014, and Wildlife Services seeks to minimize hazards to pets and humans by posting warnings, spokesman Andre Bell said.

"These devices are only set at the request of and with permission from property owners or managers," the agency said. They are "spring-activated" and "not explosive devices," it said.

Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen, who described the devices as "cyanide bombs," said no notice was given to authorities about their placement.

“I’ve been a sheriff here for 20 years and worked for the office for 39 years, and I’ve never heard of leaving around a device that emits poisonous gas,” he said.

Nielsen said he intended to meet federal officials next week to “get to the bottom of this.”

Theresa Mansfield said Wildlife Services had not sought to contact the family to apologize for the incident.


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Re: Idaho boy injured, family dog killed by government 'cyanide bomb'
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 02:26 PM NHFT »

From one of the comments posted to that article:

"LOTS of misinformation here. First, there is NO bomb, no explosion took place as there is nothing to an M44 gun but a spring. The "gun" works with a trigger system that when an animal pulls on the bait, the spring pushes a plunger out at high speed. The poison is in a plastic capsule that the plunger goes thru which shoots the poison in the mouth of the animal. Death is quick, real quick...

There would have been signs posted at all entrances to the property stating that there is poison in use on the property. There would have been a sign within 25 feet of the gun. It makes you wonder where the parents were and what they were doing to let their kid on property that is posted to have poison out for animal control. It's also against the law for anyone of any age to even touch the equipment or signage..."

A report from the Sheriff's office described the operation of the device similarly.    It sounds like a rieckless way to reduce the varmint population.  Given the nature of the placement approval process, I'd have to suspect the kid was trespassing.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 03:07 AM NHFT by WithoutAPaddle »

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Re: Idaho boy injured, family dog killed by government 'cyanide bomb'
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 10:26 AM NHFT »

From a liability perspective it could be considered an "attractive nuisance".

Having a sign is not enough, legally, in many circumstances.

If I set a booby trap on my property the authorities would be pretty upset if a kid got tangled up with it.
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