More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lightning in Norway.
According to The Norwegian Environment Agency, 323 reindeer were killed, including 70 calves, in the lightning storm on Friday (August 26th, 2016) .
The agency released disturbing photos of lifeless reindeer concentrated over a small area in the Hardangervidda mountain .
Agency representative Kjartan Knutsen said it’s not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.
“We have not heard about such numbers before,” he said
Knutsen further explained that reindeer tend to stay very close to each other in bad weather, which could explain how so many died instanly.
“I don’t know if there were several lightning strikes,” he said. “But it happened in one moment.”
He said the agency has now begun taking samples from the dead animals as part of a health research.
“We know they were killed by lightning, but this testing is for science,”
The carcasses were still on site Monday. While the agency usually does not remove animals when they die in the wild, it is currently considering other options because of the large numbers, Knutsen said.