One of Banff's most famous grizzly bears, Bear 64, and her three cubs pictured in the early morning hours of May. (Courtesy of Jack Borno)

Parks Canada says two young grizzly bears were recently struck by a train in Banff National Park.

The bears, described as the yearling cubs of a sow tagged as Bear 130, were killed about 10 kilometres west of the town of Banff on Friday evening. No grain or other food was found on the tracks at the site, according to a Parks Canada release.

"Parks Canada is saddened by the loss of the two yearlings. While great strides have been made in reducing unnatural grizzly bear deaths in Banff National Park, such as bear-proof garbage bins, seasonal group hiking requirements, highway twinning, fencing and crossing structures, the last remaining challenge rests along the rail line."

Steve Michel, a spokesman for the park, said at least one grizzly is killed every year in road or rail collisions.

"We know the population of grizzly bears is healthy in Banff National Park as a whole, because there are not those sources of human-caused mortality in the more remote back country areas but … in these more front country, more highly developed areas, we do have concerns about the health and status of the grizzly bear population."

Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific have a $1-million, five-year joint research program with the University of Alberta and Montana State University to find ways of reducing bear deaths along the tracks.