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.
Pic of a device:
Apparently they put blood and flavor on it, and when it is touched it detonates, spraying cyanide all around. I am not sure why you wouldn’t just spike meat with poison, given if it sprays enough to kill an 80lb dog, you’d think it could kill a child – and there are quite a few cases of humans being hit by them and needing immediate hospitalization. I could see myself as a kid noticing one of these out in the middle of nowhere and wondering what it was. I might even not think “explosive cyanide bomb” and take a closer look.
You’ve gotta be wary these days. Amygdalae are atrophying everywhere as free resources and lack of threat take their toll. If I were putting one of these out near a residential area, the first thing I would think is that a kid or pet might find it, and I would be freaked out by that. Either the agent who placed it was amygdala-addled, or he had some issue in the neighborhood with neighbor’s dogs or trespassing kids, and he used the coyote-pretext to justify putting it out there. Though in the PDF linked above, it turns out the Wildlife Service has a habit of going on private property and placing these without notifying the property owner. It almost feels like the producer is somehow politically connected, and they have a quota for placing these devices to justify the contracts.
Either way common sense and common decency are all decaying, so we will all have to watch our own asses in the years to come.