Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
The mystery of these 16 cows found dead on an Alpine farm has been solved after tests showed they had been simultaneously struck by a single bolt of lightning.
The animals had been spending the summer on an alpine pasture in the rural community of Sankt Johann im Pongau, in the central Austrian federal state of Salzburg.
The dead bodies of the 16 cows, who belonged to two farmers, were found on the hillside and it is unsure exactly how long they had been dead.
According to the official government news portal service.salzburg.gv, the cows were checked over by an official vet to determine the cause of death.
He carried out an on-site inspection on Wednesday 26th August.
It showed that it must have been a single lightning bolt that killed all 16 cows.
According to the official statement, the state veterinary director said it was the first time in his more than 25-year career that he saw such a large number of animals struck by a single lightning bolt.
The dead cattle are now being recovered by helicopter.
Reportedly, the amount of property damage has not yet been determined, but the farmers affected should be insured.
The most amount of animals killed by a single lightning bolt was recorded in Norway in 2016 when 323 reindeer were killed in one blast.
The rare natural massacre was explained by lightning safety specialist with the US National Weather Service, John Jensenius, who said: “Lightning does not strike a point, it strikes an area. The physical flash you see strikes a point, but that lightning is radiating out as ground current and it’s very deadly.
“The electricity would go up one leg of the body and stop the heart and go down and out another leg. In an instant, of course.”
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