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MEXICO CITY - Fishermen have found two rare conjoined gray whale calves that died shortly after being born off the coast of Baja California, the Mexican government said.

Two conjoined gray whale calves lie dead in a beach in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon, near the town of Guerrero Negro in Baja California, Mexico on Sunday.

The whales were found alive in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon in the Baja California Peninsula but lived only a few hours, marine biologist Benito Bermudez said on Wednesday.

They were linked at the waist, with two full heads and tail fins, said Bermudez, who is a scientist with the National Natural Protected Areas Commission, or CONANP.

Scientists are collecting skin, muscle and baleen samples to study the creatures, he said.

Every year more than 20,000 gray whales swim to Mexico from Alaska to mate and give birth.

— The Associated Press