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US experts probe beaching that killed 17 whales

Published on Sep 2, 2012 11:01 PM

MIAMI (AFP) - United States (US) scientists are to investigate what led 22 whales to beach themselves in Florida - killing 17 of them - one of three such incidents in North America over the weekend.

The dead whales will be "dispersed at different labs across Florida for necropsy," or animal autopsies, Ms Blair Mase, regional stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told AFP on Sunday.

Only five of the 22 pilot whales survived after beaching themselves on Saturday morning at Avalon Beach State Park, on the east coast of Florida, despite efforts by volunteers and experts to save the group.

So far, it is unclear why the whales swam ashore. Mr Mase said experts would collect data to try to find out why the whales stranded themselves.

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