ANCHORAGE (WFLA) – Disturbing video has been released showing a father and son illegally killing a family of black bears hibernating in Alaska.
The incident happened April 14, 2018, but the Humane Society of the United States just released the video showing what happened.
Troopers say Andrew Renner and Owen Renner, who were 41 and 18 at the time, shot and killed a sow black bear and two of its cubs while they were hibernating in their den on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.
The newly released video shows the two skiing up to the bear den and shooting into it. The bears can be heard in the video shrieking until the father and son fire more shots at them. The two are then seen removing the mother’s body from the den and posing for a photo with it.
In the video, one of the men is heard saying, “They’ll never be able to link it to us.”
The incident was caught on camera because the bears were part of a study. The sow bear had been collared and motion-activated cameras had been set up outside the den to monitor the family.
Two days after the shooting incident, troopers say the Renners returned to the scene to pick up the shells and dispose of the bodies of the dead bear cubs. Andrew Renner brought the sow black bear skin and collar to gaming officials later in the month to report that he killed it, troopers say. According to the incident report, he told troopers no cubs were present or located when he shot the bear.
Both of the Renners were arrested on several charges and later pleaded guilty. They were sentenced to months of jail time and fined thousands of dollars, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The Humane Society published the video this week to call for more federal protections and respect for wildlife.
“Federal law currently forbids this practice on national preserves in Alaska, but the current administration is looking to remove such prohibitions,” the Humane Society said on its website. “If this heinous cruelty occurs while protections are already in place, overturning them would all but encourage these massacres to continue.”
The organization is asking everyone to tell the acting secretary of the interior that they oppose the proposal to overturn a 2015 rule that protects wildlife from trophy hunters and trappers on federal lands.