Federal authorities have confirmed that a cyanide trap intended to kill coyotes in Idaho instead killed a dog in an incident that local law enforcement officials say also injured a 14-year-old boy, the AP reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledged Friday that workers with its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Wildlife Services placed the device called an M-44. The device activated and killed a 3-year-old Lab named Casey on Thursday. It's not clear how many other M-44 devices had been set, but Wildlife Services says it's removed them from the area.
Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said the boy's father reported that his son had been covered in an unknown substance and the dog had died. "Initially, we were just trying to determine what it even was—that was our biggest concern" said Capt. Dan Argyle. "We have never dealt with these before." He said the device was on top of a ridge about 500 yards from the boy's home. The boy was transported to a hospital emergency room to be tested for cyanide poisoning but was not seriously injured and was released. "It's a miracle the child wasn't seriously injured or even killed," Argyle said. Theresa Mansfield, the boy's mother, said her son was walking their dog on a hillside behind their home when they encountered the device. She said her son watched as the dog died. "Seeing something like that stays with you," she told the Idaho State Journal. (Read more cyanide stories.)