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Keys Marine Center Needs Volunteers For 3 Surviving Whales

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Stranded Pilot Whale

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KEY LARGO (CBS4) – Three of the 21 pilot whales are left and the marine mammal rehabilitation center in the Florida Keys is still looking for volunteers to maintain 24-hour vigils for the whales that stranded earlier this month.

Most of the 21 whales that stranded May 5 off Cudjoe Key died. Of the seven that survived, two were released and two have been euthanized.

Volunteers are standing in chest-deep water around the three 600-pound whales in a pen at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo. They’re helping keep the whales upright so they can breathe through their blowholes.

Slideshow: Whales Moved To Key Largo For Treatment

Officials say the whales are suffering from pneumonia and other ailments. The center’s stranding operations director says volunteers may be needed for months to help keep the whales steady.

Scientists at the center say they’re optimistic about the whales’ recovery.

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(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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