In a rather freak accident by nature an estimated 323 reindeer were struck by lightening in a rare mass death. These unfortunate creatures met their fate. It is quite common for reindeer to huddle together when storms come.
This happened in a part of Norway known as Hardangervidda recently. It is a rather mountainous region in the southern part of the country. Rarely does this area see any human visitors, but occasionally a few come along.
When the seasons change thousands of reindeer begin migrating across the plateau. They travel between the dry areas located in the east. What these creatures eat includes lichen a slow growing leaf like plant usually found on branches, growing on rocks, walls and trees. The reindeer are known to breed in the western part of this area and make this place their home.
This unlucky heard included 70 calves and there were five different reindeer which were found still alive. They had to be put down from their severe injuries.
One official named Kjartan Knutsen who is part of the Nature Inspectorate (A Norwegian Environmental Agency) mentioned: “Animals sometimes get killed from lightening and there have been incidents involving sheep as well”. “We have never seen anything to scale like this before. Most usually groups of 10 to 20 or so get killed like this.
The conclusion is the animals were wet and from the discharge of electricity from the lightening blast on Friday afternoon, this was the cause of the animals getting electrocuted. From these animals huddling together, their strategy backfired upon them this time. It looked like an apocalyptic setting as many corpses of these animals were scattered across the area.
Another researcher named Olav Strand from The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research mentioned hunting does happen to these animals. The estimation is between 2,000 to 3,000 animals out of 15,000 would be killed by hunters. Olav said “The stench left behind from this was both sweet and sour.”
Olav also said: “They were standing on a hill, moving up that hill. They seem to have fallen dead on the ground, exactly where they stood.” The only time he can remember something comparable to this was back in November of 2005 when 280 deer died in an avalanche at Snohetta.
This area is a mountain peak in the central part of Norway. Usually these animals travel in groups. Elks are different but when herding animals gather like this they can be vulnerable to different things.
Perhaps a more disturbing thing about this is many of the reindeer are now missing their heads. People are collecting them as trophy’s. One conspiracy is these weren’t killed by lighting but by something else entirely.