Camera Catches Poachers Killing Bear, 'Shrieking' Cubs

Alaska men sentenced in 'most egregious' case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2019 5:04 AM CST

(Newser) – A father and son in Alaska have been sentenced in what prosecutors said was "the most egregious bear cub poaching case" they had ever encountered. Wasilla residents Andrew Renner, 41, and Owen Renner, 18, illegally killed a sow and her two cubs on an island in Prince William Sound last April, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Prosecutors said that after the men skied up to the den, Owen Renner shot the sleeping mother bear twice with a rifle. Andrew Renner then shot the two "shrieking newborn bear cubs" at point-blank range. The men did not realize that the bears were part of a state wildlife study or that a motion-activated camera at the den captured their actions, KTUU reports.

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The men butchered the sow and took meat away in game bags, then returned two days later to take the bodies of the cubs away, prosecutors say. The elder Renner later told wildlife officials that he had legally killed a sow bear and he didn't see any cubs. For the poaching—and the lies—he was sentenced to three months in prison, fined $9,000, and had his hunting license revoked for 10 years. 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," according to a state press release. His son, who was 17 at the time, was sentenced to community service and suspended jail time. (Read more Alaska stories.)

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