Freak lighting bolts kill 300 reindeer in Norway

More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed after they were struck by lightning at a nature park in southern Norway.

The deaths were linked to a thunderstorm which battered the Hardangervidda region on Friday.

A further five reindeer had to be euthanised, according to the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate.

Gamekeepers said they had already counted the lightning-charred bodies of 323 reindeer, which a spokesman described as an “unusually high” death toll.

Some 323 dead wild reindeers struck by lightning are seen littering a hill side on Hardangervidda
Some 323 dead wild reindeers struck by lightning are seen littering a hill side on Hardangervidda CREDIT: HAAVARD KJONTVEDT

Knut Nylend, a spokesman for the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate, said the reindeer probably died in such high numbers because they were standing close to each other.

“There was an especially heavy thunderstorm in the afternoon. The herd was probably struck dead by the lightning,” he told Sputnik News.

Some 323 dead wild reindeers struck by lightning are seen littering a hill side on Hardangervidda
Some 323 dead wild reindeers struck by lightning are seen littering a hill side on Hardangervidda CREDIT:  HAAVARD KJONTVEDT

“This is very special. I’ve heard of cattle being killed by lightning, but not in such huge volumes.”

It is the second time this month that a large group of animals has been shocked to death by lightning.

On August 25th, 38 sheep died after they were hit by lightning in the Indian district of Kanchipuram.

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