No humans involved in "ritualistic" killing of Dartmoor pony, say police
Police say they have ruled out human involvement in the death of a Dartmoor pony which they initially had suggested may have been ritualistically killed.
The young male pony was found last month with its genitals and right ear sliced off and tongue and eyes cut out – possibly while it was still alive.
Fears were raised about a cult involvement after traces of white paint were found on its leg and the mutilated corpse appeared to be surrounded by patches of burnt moorland.
However, police are now back peddling on their first suggestion that the animal may have been killed “in some kind of ritualistic way.”
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After a thorough investigation police, who have sought the advice of experts, have come to the view that the death of this pony was through natural causes.
A spokesman said: “All the injuries can be attributed to those caused by other wild animals.”
He added that Dartmoor National Park was a “significant tourist attraction” and they were keen to reassure both the local community and visitors that there is “no evidence of any human involvement in the death of this pony.”
Meanwhile investigation continue into the mutilation and killing of several animals at a small holding in the Teign Valley.
In the horrific attacks, a goat was ritualistically butchered and its organs carefully removed, before its skin with the head still attached was left neatly folded on the field from where it was snatched.
The incident last week was the second at the isolated spot, with the first last month involving four ducks killed, a horse’s shoe removed “inhumanely” with a crowbar, a goat had one of its horns damaged leaving it in pain and a chicken going missing.
Police were investigating possible links to the killing of a lamb at Tedburn St Mary which was left to die after its front legs were amputated between 8pm on Thursday August 15 and 7am the following day.