THE bodies of two porpoises which may have been mother and pup were found washed up on two beaches in two days.

One was found near Brighton Palace Pier on Saturday and then schoolboys found the body of a juvenile on Seaford beach on Monday.

Sarah Ward, a marine officer at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, identified the animals from photographs.

She said: “This does happen every now and again but it’s very unusual for there to be two in the space of two days.

“The second one is probably a baby or a juvenile. It’s very sad, especially because it’s so young.”

She said there was a chance the adult and juvenile were related, and that the death of the adult – possibly by a predator or being hit by a boat – had led to the baby dying after becoming separated and lost.

She said their relationship was impossible to confirm without DNA testing.

Samantha Hendy, 38, was on Brighton beach with her children on Saturday afternoon when they saw the partially eaten body cordoned off near the pier.

She said: “It was really sad as these are obviously big beautiful animals. This one must have been 5ft long.”

Jessica Luscombe, 32, a residential social worker at Bowden House School in Seaford, was told by a colleague on Monday that the body of a shark was on the beach near Seaford Rugby Club, so she took pupils to investigate after school.

She said: “We had a look and it wasn’t a shark. It had a blow hole and no gills.

“The boys were fascinated.

It’s not very often you see a porpoise on the beach.”

Charlie Trimmer, 14, said he had never seen one so close before while Jaheim McLaughlin, 14, said he thought “poor porpoise”.

Porpoises are the most common cetacean – the group of marine mammals which includes whales and dolphins – to be found off the Sussex coast.

A Brighton and Hove city council spokeswoman said the stranding was reported to the Natural History Museum for conservation records.