Illegal killing of a black bear and two newborn cubs caught on hidden camera

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The sick moment a father and son decided to shoot a defenceless bear and her cubs has been captured on a hidden camera.

The footage which shows the illegal killing on Esther Island, in the Gulf of Alaska, comes from a camera which had been set up to study the animals, reports The Sun.

Father and son Andrew Renner, 41, and Owen Renner, 18, can be seen arriving on skis at the entrance to the den.

Two shots are fired inside while the alarmed newborn cubs shriek in despair. They are shot too.

Meanwhile jubilant Andrew shouts “bear down” while Owen says “they’ll never be able to link it to us” and “you and me don’t f*** around, we go where we want to kill s***”.

Two days later they were filmed returning to the site to pick up the spent shell casings in a bid to cover up what they had done.

They disposed of the dead bear cubs in plastic bags.

Renner said: “I gotta go in the den and make sure there’s no little parts, right?

Owen replies: “Yeah, that’d be a good idea.”

The pair did not know they were filmed by the US Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who were conducting a study.

Horrific footage shows them approaching the den and noticing the female bear, according to court documents.

Owen fired at least two shots, causing the cubs to shriek, before Andrew turns his guns on the newborn crying cubs.

‘COMPLETELY DEFENCELESS’

In January, the father and son were brought to court and sentenced for killing the bears, and then lying to officials after they found out the bear was collared.

They both pleaded guilty to multiple misdemeanour counts including the illegal killing of the bears.

Andrew was sentenced to five months in jail with two months suspended, and a fine of $A28,000.

Owen was sentenced to suspended jail time and community service.

Both had their hunting licenses revoked, Andrew for 10 years, and Owen’s for two years.

The assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case noted how unusual it was for jail time to be handed in wildlife cases.

But he said it was needed for this case because “Alaska will not tolerate poaching”.

He told the court: “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.”

This story first appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.