POCATELLO, ID – The family of a teenage boy sprayed by a cyanide explosive that killed their dog is outraged they weren’t told the device was planted near their home, reports East Idaho News.
Canyon Mansfield, 14, went on a walk Thursday afternoon with his family’s 3-year-old yellow Labrador, Casey, on a hill behind their Pocatello home on Buck Skin Road.
“I see this little pipe that looked like a sprinkler sticking out of the ground,” Canyon told EastIdahoNews.com. “I go over and touch it. Then it makes a pop sound and it spews orange gas everywhere.”
The orange gas was cyanide, and it sprayed into Canyon’s left eye and on his clothing.
The teen grabbed some snow and washed his eye out but then realized Casey was having problems.
“I look over and see him having a seizure,” Canyon said, holding back tears. “I ran over and he had these glassy eyes. He couldn’t see me, and he had this red stuff coming out of his mouth.”
Canyon ran down the hill and inside the house to his mother.
“He said, ‘Mom, Mom, there’s something wrong with Casey,’” Theresa Mansfield recalled. “We ran back outside and up the hill and by the time we got there, Casey had died.”
Theresa called the police and then contacted her husband, Mark, who is a medical doctor.
“I hurried home, and the first thing I did was try to resuscitate the dog,” Mark Mansfield said. “Unfortunately I exposed myself to cyanide and had no idea.”
It took hours after emergency crews arrived and help from multiple agencies to learn Casey had died from exposure to an M-44.
M-44s are spring-activated devices that release cyanide when they are activated through upward pressure or pulling. The US Department of Agriculture uses the devices to control coyotes and other predators.
“We didn’t know anything about it. No neighborhood notifications and our local authorities didn’t know anything about them,” Mark said. “The sheriff deputies who went up there didn’t even know what a cyanide bomb was.”
The Mansfields have lived in their home nearly 10 years and have never seen M-44s in their neighborhood. They say the one triggered Thursday was planted on the borderline of their property.
“We weren’t aware, and nobody told us,” Theresa said. “There was nothing posted up on the hill saying to beware or be careful.”
There shouldn’t have had to be notifications, as this should never have been done to begin with by the Department of Agriculture. So boys and girls, I’ve seen a lot of dumb ass things by the government in my years, but this one takes the cake. Let me introduce you to the most idiotic government program ever concocted by mankind. Spring-activated cyanide bombs as a part of the war on animals paid for by your tax dollars.
This is bad, bad solution in search of a problem. Here is a list of effective Coyote control devices, in order: 5.56mm / .223, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR (if you don’t want to shoot anything larger such as you would with a mule deer or moose). As for federal government, you withdraw from any program like this, let the states handle their own animal control issues and make decisions when a herd, pack, drove or flock needs to be culled, and the state makes an announcement about renewed or extended hunting season so that the states can conduct scientific game management and herd control techniques with tags and bag limits.
If this even needs to occur. Good Lord! These are indigenous creatures, predatory of course, but there are many predatory animals in this part of the nation. The state should be able to figure out quite well what needs to be done, if anything. Automatic poison ejection devices aren’t even legal in warfare according to the Geneva convention. Yet for some reason, bureaucrats and Forestry majors on the government dole and paid for by your tax dollars can decide to poison animals without so much as consultation with anyone around them.
I wish this family would consult a lawyer and seek remedy in court for this against the Department of Agriculture, but my guess is that any federal court would tip their hat to government employees and grant them immunity from prosecution of any kind. Yet these are the sort of “intolerable acts” that caused our founders to separate from England. I’ll write the Department of Agriculture and ask what statutory framework even allows this. I doubt I will get a response.
In this case, the least we should justifiably expect would be to gut this worthless government department, deliver pink slips to them, and send them packing to find real jobs. That something so simple got so out of hand is a tragic testimony to how out of touch and out of control the federal government is. What could have been handled by hunters with pleasure and sport, perhaps with their own sons, redounded to a little boy being poisoned and his childhood dog being killed.