Every once in a while people fall into the grip of a Satanic panic, thinking that there are covens of witches and warlocks doing unspeakable rituals to people or animals. It always turns out to be nonsense, of course, and the latest one did as well.
A pony found in Dartmoor, England, in July apparently died under mysterious and horrific circumstances: It had been mutilated, and several of its organs were missing, which fueled speculation that it was killed in some sort of satanic or pagan ritual sacrifice.
The 2-month-old male pony apparently had its genitals, eyes, tongue and one ear removed. The death seemed very sinister and mysterious, leading Dartmoor’s livestock-protection officer to speculate that ” witches or devil worshipers” were responsible. This theory, in turn, sparked fears about the people who would kill and dismember a young pony.
Now, the mystery has been solved.
Devon and Cornwall police concluded this week that the pony had died of natural causes. The much-discussed “mutilation” was not, in fact, mutilation at all, but instead the normal result of wild animals eating the pony’s organs and scattering its entrails.
At least no one was killed over it this time and the mob with pitchforks and torches seems to have been avoided.