After initially saying that the 'bizarre' death of a Dartmoor pony was suspected to be ritualistic, Devon & Cornwall Police now say it was through natural causes.

Police appealed for the public's help after the the two month old pony was found dead on moorland at Yennadon Down, Dousland Yelverton by a horse rider.

At the time a police spokesman said that the pony appeared to have been "deliberately mutilated" and officers are investigating the possibility that the body had been left in "some kind of ritualistic way."

The young male had its genitals, right ear and tongue sliced off, and eyes gouged out, its belly hacked open and had traces of white paint on one of its legs.

However officers say that they have finalised their enquiries into the death of athe pony in July and that it was most likely the result of other wild animals.

A spokesman said: "Initial 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."