KEY LARGO (CBS4) – For the second time Marine Mammal Conservancypersonnel had to euthanize a pilot whale which was part of a stranding earlier this month in the lower Florida Keys.

“The adult female whale, that had been in critical condition since the stranding, was not responding to treatment and was continuing to deteriorate,” said Robert Lingenfelser, director of stranding operations for the MMC.

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A necropsy is to be conducted Wednesday.

“One other whale remains in critical condition, one in guarded condition and one in stable condition,” Lingenfelser said.

MMC personnel had to euthanize the first surviving pilot whale on May 13.

On May 5th, 21 whales stranded themselves off Cudjoe Key.  A virtual army of volunteers immediately began to help the whales.  Two were deemed healthy enough to be on their own and were released back into the sea.  Fourteen of the whales died and the remaining five survivors were taken to the conservancy’s facilities in Key Largo on May 10th.

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Slideshow: Stranded Whales Moved To Key Largo For Treatment

Experts do not know a lot about what causes marine mammals to strand. They conducted necropsies on those whales which didn’t survive, but it will be months before they have conclusive results. Even then, they may not get an answer. And while NOAA officials say they have no reason to believe there is a link between the stranding and last year’s Gulf oil spill, they will also be testing for that.

Lingenfelser cited a continued a need for volunteers to assist during the round-the-clock effort to assist the remaining whales.

To volunteer time or donate supplies, call 451-4774, visit http://www.marinemammalconservancy.org or find the conservancy on Facebook.

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