Lightning strikes and killed 323 reindeer in Norway
More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lighting in central Norway on Friday August 25, 2016.
The Norwegian Environment Agency has released eerie images showing a jumble of reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. The agency says 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, in the lightning storm Friday.
Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it’s not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.
Knutsen said the agency is now discussing what to do with the dead animals. Normally, they are just left where they are to let nature take its course, he said.
“We’ve heard about animals being struck by lightning and killed, but I don’t remember hearing about lightning, killing animals on this scale before,” NNI spokesman Knut Nylend tells NTB. “We don’t know if it was one or more lighting strike; that would only be speculation.”
The Hardangervidda national park is home to an estimated 10,000 wild reindeer that migrate across the region every year. Nylend speculates that the reindeer may have been killed because they are often close to one another, and “they may have gathered even closer together out of fear” during the thunderstorm.
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