RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Tribal leaders from the Great Plains and across Canada have come together in opposition of the removal of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear from the Endangered Species Act protection

The Rapid City Journal reports that the animal was removed from protected status last month. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said the population has rebounded from as few as nearly 140 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today.

More than 128 tribal nations have signed a "Reclamation of Independence" treaty of cooperation the wake of the removal.

Tribal leaders say they fear removing the grizzly not only will lead to trophy hunting of an animal they consider sacred, but also comes as President Trump has proposed the opening of more tribal lands for oil exploration and mining.

More From US 103-3