2 whales found stranded in Fla. Keys are released

May 8, 2011
In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Stacey Anderson, right, of the Marine Mammal Conservancy, right, and an unidentified MMC volunteer, left, care for a pilot whale Friday, May 6, 2011, at Cudjoe Key, Fla. The whale is one of about 16 that stranded Thursday, May 5, off the lower Florida Keys. Six other whales are being cared for in the temporary sea pen, two died and responders are endeavoring to secure the others in the sea pen. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Bob Care)

(AP) -- Two pilot whales found stranded in the Florida Keys have been released.

Twenty beached themselves Thursday in off Cudjoe Key. Seven survived and were confined in a makeshift pen to be treated for dehydration.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary spokeswoman Karrie Carnes told The Key West Citizen that blood tests indicated two of the whales were healthy enough to be released into deeper waters. The male whales were released without a hitch Saturday about nine miles off the lower . The first lingered briefly, and they then swam off together to the cheers of volunteers.

Necropsies are planned for the 13 whales that died.

Cudjoe Key is in the Lower Keys about 20 miles east of Key West.

Explore further: Whales die in Tasmanian stranding


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