SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS/AP) — Wildlife officials say they believe someone illegally separated two bear cubs from their mother and left the young animals along a highway in far northern California.

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

Game wardens say they couldn’t find the mother so they took the cubs to be evaluated by wildlife veterinarians at the department’s investigations lab in Rancho Cordova who determined they animals were healthy.

The cubs were then transferred to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in South Lake Tahoe.

The two cubs named “Blaze” and “Yreka” both weigh in at around four pounds. They are among the smallest and youngest cubs ever received in their first year by the rehabilitation facility.

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.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report

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