ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A father and son skied to a remote den bear on an Alaskan island, shot a bear in front of her two cubs and then one of them lifted his rifle at the screaming babies, killing them, authorities said Wednesday.
The men did not know that the black bears were part of an observation program and the slaughter was caught on video by a motion activated camera outside the den.
Andrew Renner, 41, and son, Owen Renner, 18, is charged with multiple counts, including the illegal killing of a bear and both cubs in the April incident. Under the legislation of a member state, it is illegal to kill black bear cubs or sows with cubs in most of Alaska, including where the shooting took place.
Online court records are not attorneys for the men of Palmer, a city near Anchorage, and a message left at a number for a Rider Andrew in Palmer was not immediately returned Wednesday.
The video camera that captured the shooting was placed on Esther Island in Prince William Sound as part of a bear study of the U. S. Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Troopers later obtained the camera, that multiple 30-second video clips. The clips of April 14, show, Andrew, and Owen Rider approaching the den, and the notice of the female bear, court documents say.
“Owen Rider shoulder a rifle and fire at least two shots at the bear. Cubs start squealing in the den after the first shots,” the documents say. “The defendants listening for a few minutes and finally realize that it is not the dead sow, but the orphaned boy, the make of the sounds.
“The suspects then closer to the den where Andrew Renner takes aim through his rifle scope yards away and fires a few shots, the killing of newborn bear cubs,” according to the court papers.
The camera captures the oldest Rider, who says: “It doesn’t matter. Bear.”
The father and the son, and drag the mother bear of the den and realize that it’s a Fish and game collar.
“Fearless, Andrew Renner states,” I “m gonna get rid of these guys’ during the throw of the cubs’ limp carcass to the snow outside the den,'” the documents say.
In another video clip, the younger Rider said, ” We have the collar off,” the court papers say. “Andrew Renner says, ‘We’re gonna skin it that way,'” and points away from the den. Owen Renner agrees, saying: ‘They will never be able to give a link to us.’ They are going to butcher the sow and place it in game bags, then ski away.”
Following video shows the Riders back two days later. They pick up the collar and talk about the sale of the cubs.
“I have to go into the den and make sure that there are no small parts,” one of them says about the cubs.
They pick up the shell casings, place the cubs of the bodies in a bag and ski away.
Andrew Rider took a black bear sow in a state wildlife office on 30 April, who claimed that he and his son had been killed in the neighborhood of Granite Bay in Prince William Sound, on April 14.
Troopers interviewed Rider, who said that he found the skin of the bear and brought the collar in. He said that he had no knowledge of the sow with cubs and no cubs were in the area.
Authorities say Rider also forged documents about the killing of the animal, when it was his son that did that, and not to the number of bears illegally killed.
Associated Press writer Mark Thiessen contributed to this report.
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