KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials have captured and moved two young grizzly bears to bolster a small population of the federally protected bruins in the Cabinet-Yaak area of northwestern Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Dillon Tabish said Tuesday a male and female bear were captured in the Whitefish Range and released in mid-July near Spar Lake. The lake is south of Troy near the Idaho-Montana border and about 75 miles  from the Whitefish Range.

State and federal bear managers have worked for three decades to reestablish a sustainable grizzly population in the Cabinet Mountains and Yaak River area. Since 1990, 22 of the animals have been brought in to boost the population and its genetic diversity.

The region has an estimated 55 to 60 grizzlies, up from fewer than 15 in the late 1980s.

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