Alaska dad, son sentenced for killing mother bear, ‘shrieking’ newborn cubs

An Alaska man and his son were sentenced Tuesday over the poaching of a black bear mother and her two cubs in their den after they were caught by a nearby research camera.

Andrew Renner, 41, was sentenced to three months in jail and his son Owen Renner, 18, received 30 days of suspended time in the April 2018 killings. Each was ordered to pay $1,800 in restitution, with the elder Renner owing an additional $9,000 fine, the Anchorage Daily News reported. 

The father and son skied to the site on Esther Island in Prince William Sound, where the son killed the mother bear in front of her two cubs. The father turned his rifle point-blank on the newborns “shrieking in the den,” prosecutors said. The son shot the sow bear twice as she slept, they said, according to the paper.

A motion-activated camera set up outside the den as part of a bear study by the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game captured the carnage.

Assistant Attorney General Aaron Peterson told the court it was the “most egregious bear cub poaching case his office has ever seen.”

“What we saw is that there were two bear cubs that were completely defenseless and were shot at point-blank range,” Peterson said.

The father was convicted of eight counts related to the illegal killing and transporting of the bears, and the falsifying of the sealing certificate. His hunting license has been revoked for 10 years, while his son’s license has been suspended for two years, according to the Daily News.

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