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Three caribou relocated north early this year doing well

FILE - In this undated file photo provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, two caribou in northwest Montana knock their antlers together. On Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, U.S. federal officials finalized protections for caribou habitat in the lower 48 states. (Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks via AP, File) ORG XMIT: WATW201 (AP)
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, two caribou in northwest Montana knock their antlers together. On Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, U.S. federal officials finalized protections for caribou habitat in the lower 48 states. (Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks via AP, File) ORG XMIT: WATW201 (AP)

The three caribou that were taken from the Selkirk and Purcell mountains in January have integrated with a herd near Revelstoke, B.C., according to Bart George, a biologist for the Kalispel Tribe.

The three cows are collared and being monitored. Integrating caribou from one herd into another is no sure thing. In this case, a cow from the Revelstoke herd joined the other three in an enclosed pen, likely easing the integration.

In January, Canadian officials moved the sole surviving member of the South Selkirk herd, alongside two caribou from the South Purcell herd, farther north to a 20-acre maternal pen near Revelstoke, B.C.

That capture marked the end of the only herd that still occasionally crossed back and forth between Canada and the Lower 48 states.

Next week, the Kalispel Tribe’s 19-acre maternal pen will be dissembled and moved to Nakusp, B.C. In 2017, the tribe raised $225,000 toward the pen effort, but the Southern Selkirk caribou herd declined before it could be used.

Pregnant cows near Nakusp will be captured and placed in the pen, allowing them to calve in the security of the enclosure.

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