Dog killed, boy knocked to ground when "cyanide bomb" device explodes in Idaho woods
March 18, 2017
(POCATELLO, IDAHO) -- The young boy "is lucky," Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen told the Idaho State Journal . "His guardian angel was protecting him."
An M-44 device, sometimes called a "cyanide poison bomb." Photo: Bannock County Sheriff 's office. CLICK TO ENLARGE
The boy, 14, was only knocked to the ground when a deadly cyanide device exploded on a ridge top near his home while out for a walk with his 3-year old Labrador retriever.
The dog was not so lucky. The lab died. The 3-year-old dog named Casey, a beloved family pet was covered with cyanide when found.
The boy apparently did not know he and his pet were walking in a danger zone, an area where what turned out to be a deadly land-mine type of device had been planted by an agency of the federal government.
The device, known as an M-44 - sometimes called a cyanide poison bomb - had been placed there by federal wildlife officials primarily to kill coyotes and other predators.
When activated the device releases a burst of deadly cyanide gas.
The sheriff's office was told by the boy's father that the boy watched his dog die while his son was covered in "an unknown substance," after the device exploded.
The boy was evaluated at a local hospital and released, according to the newspaper report which said the Idaho incident occurred a few weeks after a gray wolf was accidentally killed by an M-44 on private land in Oregon's Wallowa County.
The report said the M-44 is a controversial predator control device that is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Service around the country mostly to kill coyotes and other predators.
Theresa Mansfield, the boy’s mother said another one of the cyanide bombs was found near her home after authorities, including a hazmat team, arrived on the scene. The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.
A statement issued by the sheriff's office said, "This device is extremely dangerous to animals and humans...if a device such as this is ever located please do not touch or go near the device and contact your local law enforcement agency."