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Lightning kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway

Reindeer tend to stay close to each other in bad weather, which causes the mass death

Mugdha Singh
Publish Date: Aug 30 2016 3:19PM | Updated Date: Aug 30 2016 3:19PM

Lightning kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway

More than 300 wild reindeer were recently killed by lightning at a Norwegian national park, officials say. Officials claim that an extremely high discharge of electricity from the storm on had electrocuted the animals.


Reindeer often huddle together in groups during thunderstorms. It is a strategy they have to survive, but in this case their survival strategy might have cost them their life. The corpses are all lying in one big group, piled together.


The national park, the largest in Norway with wild reindeer populations, spans some 8,000 square kilometers (3,088 square miles) and is home to 10,000 to 11,000 wild reindeer. Wildlife officials are calling this an unusually large natural disaster.


The Norwegian Environment Agency has released haunting images of reindeer—including 70 calves—that seemingly fell over where they stood in the grasses of Hardangervidda, the plateau in northern Europe.


Agency spokesperson Kjartan Knutsen told the media that it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes during storms. But we have not heard about such a large numbers before.