GRAPHIC PHOTO: Mother grizzly bear and her 2 cubs killed crossing Montana highway

A female grizzly bear and her two cubs were fatally hit by a vehicle last week in Montana, according to tribal wildlife officials.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Wildlife Management Program shared a graphic photo of the animals when it spoke about the late Friday night incident in a Facebook post.

“This included a marked female wearing a radio collar as well as 2 cubs of the year (COY), 1 male and a female,” the post said. 

The post added there have now been “4 vehicle deaths on this 13-mile stretch of Hwy 93 in 2018.”

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The bear family was trying to make its way across a highway in the Flathead Indian Reservation, tribal wildlife officials said.

“We realize this image invokes strong emotions in people, it does for us too,” they admitted in the Facebook post. “The particular female has been collecting data for us on her movements around the Flathead Indian Reservation. We are saddened to see her and her two cubs were killed on US 93.”

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The post recommended being careful while traveling in the reservation - and also took time to speak out about grizzlies' movements. 

“Grizzly bear populations in the Mission Valley are starting to disperse west of US 93,” tribal wildlife officials shared. “This is a good thing but comes with dangers when encountering vehicles.”

Vehicle collisions are a frequent killer of grizzlies, which are protected as a threatened species in the area.

“Please be cautious and call emergency personnel if you are involved in an accident or if an animal is left on any highway were another driver might also hit it,” the post concluded.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.