OSLO – Lightning has killed more than 300 wild reindeer in southern Norway, Norwegian officials say, in the largest such incident known to date.
The 323 reindeer, including 70 young, were found last week by a gamekeeper on the Hardangervidda plateau, a national park where Europe’s largest herd of some 10,000 wild reindeer roam freely.
Television footage showed the animals’ dead bodies lying close together on the ground, USA Today reported.
“There were very strong storms in the area on Friday. The animals stay close together in bad weather and these ones were hit by lightning,” said an official from the Norwegian Environment Agency, Kjartan Knutsen.
“It’s unusual. We’ve never seen anything like this on this scale,” Mr Knutsen said.
Reindeer are social creatures and usually, move in packs.
Norwegian authorities have yet to decide what to do with the animals. “We’re going to decide soon whether to let nature run its own course or whether we will do something,” he said.