A man who was caught on camera shooting a mother bear and her two Bear cubs has been sentenced to three months in jail.
41-year-old Andrew Renner and his 18-year-old son Owen killed the animals in April last year, after skiing to the remote den where the bears were resting on Esther Island in the Gulf of Alaska.
The pair were unaware the mother and her cubs were part of an observation programme being conducted by the US Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, who had set up a camera by the den.
According to court documents the footage shows the two men approaching the den and noticing the female bear. The teenager shot the mother, causing the cubs to shriek and cry before Andrew turned his weapon on the helpless babies.
Owen received 30 days of suspended time for his involvement in the incident, and both received fines.
According to a statement released by the Alaska Department of Public Safety in April, the father and son skied up to the den on April 14, at which point the motion-detection camera captured the 18-year-old shoot the mother bear.
The documents read:
Owen Renner shoulders a rifle and fires as least two shots at the bear. Cubs begin shrieking in the den after the initial shots are fired. The defendants listen for several minutes and eventually realise that it is not the dead sow, but the orphaned cubs, making the sounds.
The defendants then move closer to the den where Andrew Renner takes aim through his rifle scope only feet away and fires several more shots, killing the newborn bear cubs.
I cannot stand PEOPLE that slaughter….for fun and greed…this OWEN RENNER and his Father ANDREW RENNER… seems to…
According to Anchorage Daily News, as reported in The Mirror, he said:
My office believes and argued for active jail time in this case because of the egregious nature of it, and the necessity of letting the public know Alaska will not tolerate poaching.
What we saw is that there were two bear cubs that were completely defenceless and were shot at point-blank range.
On top of the jail time, Andrew was ordered to pay a $9,000 (£6,900) fine, as well as forfeit his pickup truck, boat and trailer, weapons, skies and cell phones.
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