An animal dubbed the Beast of Dartmoor after photos were taken of a hairy four-legged creature was actually a pet dog, its owner claims.Newfoundland Troy, who weighs 12 stone (76kg), is no man-eater, said her owner Lucinda Reid from Heathfield. My five-year old daughter lies on top of him," she said.The mystery of the "beast" arose after falconer Martin Whitley took a picture of a wandering figure near Hound Tor. The photo of a black-haired animal near a group of schoolchildren could be a wild boar, some said.

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He said: ''We have most definitely discounted it as a Newfoundland.

Its whole figure was wrong and the coat was a different texture.

''The creature I saw was black and grey and comparable in size to a miniature pony.

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But Troy is just the family pet of the Reid's who say he would never harm a flea.

School cook Mrs Reid, 36, told BBC News: "When I saw the photo I thought it was like a Newfoundland.

"Then I saw that it was Hounds Tor where we go every weekend. I have never seen another Newfoundland up on the moor." She said that Troy's black coat and large size led some people to call him a bear. "My five year-old daughter Summer lies on top of him.

"Some people are quite scared of him because he's so big, but he's a gentle giant." Mr Whitley is adamant that the creature in his photograph is most likely a big cat roaming the moor.