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  Desperate attempts to save beached whales
Updated 30 July 2002, 18.18
Forty-six of the 55 whales were saved
More than 40 pilot whales have beached themselves off the East coast of America for a second time in less than 48 hours.

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The mammals had become stranded in shallow waters around Cape Cod on Monday but were helped back out to sea by holidaymakers.

They got stuck again just hours later on a different beach further along the coast.


Blubber

It's thought they first became stranded after coming inland to eat crustaceans and squid.

But now biologists fear they have become sick and disorientated and their chances of survival are slim.

Whales breath air through a blowhole on the top of their bodies, but it is still vital to get them back into the sea or they will die.

This is because they are unable to support their huge body weight on land. If stranded for too long their own weight will crush their internal organs.

Also, because they have a lot of blubber they can overheat and die from dehydration.

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Baby whale floated back home
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