Last year, a father and son pair of hunters from Alaska crept into a bear den and essentially sl**ghtered two newborn cubs and their sleeping mother. At first, they appeared to get away with it, as the New York Times reports.
The unprovoked act of fatal violence occurred on a remote island off the southern coast of Alaska, where there was “little chance for witnesses.” They went so far as to travel there by boat, equipping themselves with skis.
Authorities report a motion activated camera being used to conduct wildlife research managed to capture the actions of the hunters as they approached the island.
A couple weeks ago, after deciding to plead guilty to a litany of poaching charges, the father, 41-year-old Andrew Renner of Wasilla, Alaska received a sentence that many consider minimal, three months in jail. He was also legally prevented from hunting for a decade, as confirmed by the prosecutor in the case, state assistant attorney general Aaron Peterson.
His 18-year-old son, Owen Renner, was the recipient of a 30 day suspended sentence, with the requirement of community service.
Little depth could be provided, as to explain how the state was unable to assess the grotesque immorality of sneaking up on baby animals and taking their lives for sport in the most defenseless moment possible.
The New York Times simply reported: “Based on state law, killing a mother bear or bear cubs is a crime. But Mr. Peterson said that defendants in poaching cases rarely get jail time. That’s because hunters often argue that they poached an animal by mistake and typically have no criminal record, he said.”
Mr. Peterson continued to explain that he felt the “crime was so egregious” he had to ask for jail time. It certainly wasn’t much jail time.
“What they did in this case was shoot two newborn bear cubs who couldn’t escape,” he pointed out. “They had no way of getting out of that den. They were completely at the mercy of the Renners.”
An absolutely horrifying description of what they did was described by prosecutors in a news release. Owen Renner launched an unprovoked attack on the sleeping mother bear in the cave with a rifle, prosecutors said.
The baby cubs started shrieking, prosecutors explained, and then Andrew Renner fatally shot the cubs.
A GPS-enabled collar was attached to the mother bear, who was being studied by the United States Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
As if it would be less egregious to do that to a non-mother bear and her defenseless cubs, Andrew Renner turned himself in to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, taking the collar and skin of the bear to claim he mistakenly shot her, not realizing she was a mother.
He lied and claimed there were no cubs in the den: unfortunately for him, he was caught on camera.
There’s always something ghoulish about celebrating a person’s capture by the authorities, or to demand the state incarcerate someone for longer, but obviously a sentence of three months in comparison to the sentence for h**icide, is proof that the state does not value the life of any animal anywhere near as much as even a slight aggression against a human being.
Andrew Renner has been fined $9.000, and in addition to the three-month jail sentence, he is being made to hand over his boat, guns, pickup truck, iPhones and skis, according to prosecutors.
His son’s hunting license is being suspended for two years, while the father can’t hunt for ten years, but for many people who have a moral issue with what they did, this legal punishment is far detached from what would truly be justice. It’s not necessarily healthy for any person to wish harm upon another, or desire they suffer in particular under the gavel of the court, but think about how odd it is that they want to take all his possessions. It seems the law wants to re-affirm their precedent that they can confiscate all of a person’s possessions.