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Around 20 whales end up beached along coast of southern Chile

A sei whale beached on the southern coast of Gulf of Penas, Chile, earlier this year.

A sei whale beached on the southern coast of Gulf of Penas, Chile, earlier this year.  (Vreni Haussermann, Huinay Scientific Field Station via AP)

Chilean officials said Friday that a few dozen endangered sei whales have been found beached along the South American country's southern coast.

Foreign scientists discovered the whales on the Gulf of Penas and reported them to the National Fisheries Service. A statement from government officials said there were around 20 whales, while the scientists said they counted more than 30.

It's not unusual to find beached whales along Chile's 2,400-mile (4,200-kilometer) coast. However, it's the first time sei whales have been found beached in the country, the Fisheries Service said.

The International Union for Conservation of Natures lists the sei as an endangered species. Adults can be longer than 50 feet (15 meters) and weigh 20 tons or more.

Officials said they were trying to determine what caused the whales to wind up on the beach.

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