SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Wildlife officials say they believe someone illegally separated two bear cubs from their mother and left the young animals along a Northern California highway.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says its investigators are processing evidence discovered with the cubs March 9 along State Route 96.

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Game wardens say they couldn’t find the mother, so they took the cubs to be evaluated by wildlife veterinarians who determined they were healthy.

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The cubs were then transferred to a rehabilitation facility in South Lake Tahoe.

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Investigators from the department are seeking tips from the public. They said there are only a few hundred wildlife officers spread throughout California and they need help from residents to combat poaching.