A pony found mutilated on Dartmoor in what was claimed could be a dark Satanic cult's ritual died of natural causes, according to Devon and Cornwall police. The pony was found near Plymouth with organs and features missing or placed outside its body in July this year - leading to fears it could have been deliberately killed and arranged as part of a ritual. The young male animal had its genitals and right ear sliced off and tongue and eyes cut out - possibly while it was still alive.
Its belly has been cut open and the pony also had traces of white paint on one of its legs - suggesting it was killed as part of a ceremony. It was also surrounded by circular patches of burnt moorland - which experts believe were left by a ring of torches or candles. Police say their investigation has concluded, and that the animal died of natural causes. They say the mutilation was down to wild animals.
A spokesman said: "Devon & Cornwall Police have finalised their enquiries into the death of a Dartmoor pony in July 2013. nitial media reports linked the death of the pony to satanic cults and ritualistic killing. The police have sought the advice of experts and have come to the view that the death of this pony was through natural causes. All the injuries can be attributed to those caused by other wild animals.
"This incident received significant media reporting, some of which was clearly sensationalist. Dartmoor National Park is a significant tourist attraction and the police are keen to reassure both the local community and visitors to the area that there is no evidence of any human involvement in the death of this pony." At the time of the death a spokeswoman for Devon and Cornwall Police said officers would be looking closely at the "ritualistic" elements of the killing.