MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Two grizzly bear cubs have been killed by a train in northwestern Montana, driving the number of bear deaths toward last year's record level for the region, Montana officials said.

The two cubs, one female and the other of unknown sex, were found Tuesday night along railroad tracks near the small town of Trego, about 30 miles south of the Canadian border, said Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesman Dillon Tabish.

A record 46 grizzly bears died in 2018 in a region that includes Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and surrounding areas. The region is home to more than 1,000 bears.

The 44 grizzlies killed or removed to date in 2019 include eight hit by trains, the most ever recorded in a single year.

About half of the bears have been killed by wildlife managers in response to run-ins with people or livestock. Two bears listed on the mortality list were kept alive but moved, to augment a different population of the animals along the Montana-Idaho border.

Grizzlies are protected as a threatened species across the Lower 48 states. They are hunted in Alaska and portions of Canada.

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