After a father and son pleaded guilty to illegally killing a hibernating black bear and her cubs in Alaska, video of the “despicable” killings released by the Humane Society have sparked outrage.
A wildlife camera set up to study the bear family caught Andrew Renner and his son, Owen Renner, sneaking up to the winter den on skis and shooting the mama bear as two cubs were heard shrieking inside the den. After they high-fived, Owen stopped to pose for a photo with the dead mama bear.
“They’ll never be able to link it to us,” he says in the video, which was taken in April 2018.
The hunting of cubs or a mother bear with cubs is illegal in parts of Alaska, as The Humane Society explained on a petition urging Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt not to reverse a federal rule protecting certain wildlife, as his department proposed last year.
“If this heinous cruelty occurs while protections are already in place, overturning them would all but encourage these massacres to continue,” The Humane Society’s petition reads. “We need more federal protections, not less, to ensure that these types of cruel and horrific activities are banned for good.”
People on the internet were outraged by the Renners’ actions, calling the video “disgusting” and calling for the government to further ban trophy hunting — not make it easier to hunt big game in the U.S.
Andrew and Owen Renner knew what they were doing was wrong. They didn't care. All they wanted was a bear skin rug. A Trophy. It didn't matter that the mama bear and cubs were hibernating. Laws need to ge tougher. People need to be nicer. Ban #TrophyHunting pic.twitter.com/NSNFVHsgkI
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) March 29, 2019
This story makes me so sick to my stomach I wish we had ‘eye for an eye’ Justice in this case for these two trash and their family. Poaching footage released of father and son in Alaska killing protected bears | Fox News https://t.co/luEXNb6Unm
— John Hargrove (@johnjhargrove) March 28, 2019
— Aoife C (@WriterAoifeC) March 29, 2019
Just disgusting and abhorrent, they both got off way to lightly, but no amount of punishment would have been strong enough for those two barbarians.
— Phillydude (@Fairwinds10) March 28, 2019
Don Jr. and Eric
— Dr. David N. Moore (@dmooresb) March 29, 2019
The Renners both pleaded guilty to poaching the bears in January, local Alaskan broadcast station KTUU-TV reports. Andrew was sentenced to five months in jail with two months suspended, a fine of $20,000 with $11,000 suspended, and ordered to forfeit any property he used to kill the bears.
Owen was sentenced to suspended jail time, community service, and was ordered to take a hunter safety course. They both had their hunting licenses revoked, for 10 years and two years respectively.
“Justice was served — but these animals deserve more respect and compassion,” The Humane Society’s petition says.
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