Saving the Whales

Images of the stranded whales and the beach-goers racing to save them.
3:00 | 09/02/12

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Transcript for Saving the Whales
Along the florida coast, two dozen whales came ashore and beach goers raced to save them. Abc's john schriffen with more. Reporter: It was a heart breaking and helpless scene. Waves tossing dozens of pilot whales onto a florida beach. This woman does her best to coax the whales back into the sea. But this rescue effort needed more help. There's a lot of work that needs to be done here. Reporter: Within hours this beach is swarming with a rescue team and volunteers, armed with sponges and buckets, giving up their last big weekend of the summer, to save these whales. I want to show our kids, it's the right thing to do. Hopefully they'll get released and they'll be back with their family. One, two, three! Repr: It's a race against time. Most of these whales won't make it. In the end, 17 are euthanized to end their suffering. But five are strong enough to be transported to a nearby marine center where they're being nursed back from the brink of death. Receiving around-the-clock care. So how did they end up on the beach in the first pce? Scientists don't know just yet, but believe it has something to do with pilot whales' natural instinct. They have a tight-knit social group. If one animal is not well, they will come into shore and the others will follow too. Rescuers are focusing their efforts on the five surviving young whales who will be transferred to sea world in orlando. David, the hope is they will get stronger over the next few months and be released back into the ocean. We're all pulling for those five whales tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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