Photo: Humane Society/Screenshot
Alaska has made public a video showing the illegal April 2018 killing of a black bear sow and her two cubs in their den by a father and son.
Unbeknownst to the killers, the bears' den on Esther Island in Prince William Sound was under video surveillance for a bear study conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service.
In the video — which was edited to make it potentially less graphic — Andrew Renner, 41, and Owen Renner, 18, both of Wasilla, are seen shooting into the den and killing the animals. (Warning: Viewers may find the video disturbing.)
The men can be heard saying "they'll never be able to link it to us" and "we go where we want to kill s---."
An Alaskan troopers' report, which described the "poaching incident" read: "The video shows A. Renner and O. Renner skiing up to the den and then O. Renner firing two shots at the denning sow. A. Renner then kills the shrieking newborn bear cubs and discards their bodies away from the den."
The video camera later caught them returning to the scene to search for spent shell casings and other evidence of the crime.
The men were both found guilty of illegally killing a black bear mother and newborn cubs, and lying about it.
According to the state Department of Law, Andrew Renner was sentenced to five months in jail with two months suspended and a fine of $20,000 with $11,000 suspended. He also had to forfeit his 22' Sea Sport ocean boat and trailer, 2012 GMC Sierra pickup truck, two rifles, two handguns, two iPhones, and two sets of backcountry skis which were used in the offenses. His hunting license was revoked for 10 years.
Owen Renner was sentenced to suspended jail time, community works service and required to take a hunters safety course. His hunting license was suspended for two years.
Both defendants were ordered to pay $1,800 restitution, the amount set under Alaska law for killing black bears.
The video was released after a successful public records request by the Humane Society.