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updated: 9/1/2012 5:59 PM

Pod of pilot whales stranded along Florida beach

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Associated Press

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Rescuers are struggling to help a pod of pilot whales that beached at a South Florida state park.

Twenty of the whales from juveniles to adults came ashore Saturday morning at Avalon Beach State Park in St. Lucie County.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told the Associated Press that two whales died of natural causes and five were transported to a local rehabilitation facility. She said some had to be euthanized.

It's unclear why the whales became stranded.

The Palm Beach Post reports there were at least four calves in the stranded pod and officials said they had the best chance at survival.

Hundreds of residents came to the beach to assist with the rescue, helping the animals turn upright so they could breathe better and pouring water over them.

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