HARDANGERVIDDA NATIONAL PARK, NORWAY — More than 300 wild reindeer were killed by a single lightning strike in the southern part of the country, officials said on Monday.
It is believed the incident occurred last Friday afternoon when thunderstorms hit the Hardangervidda National Park, according to BNO News.
A gamekeeper at the park discovered the 323 dead reindeer on a plateau later that night. Officials weren’t able to visit the site until Sunday.
All of the reindeer were found in a radius of just 50 meters, according to Elin Fosshaug Olsø, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian Environment Agency.
“We believe all the reindeer were killed as the result of one single powerful lightning strike, because of the way they were positioned, Olsø said. “We have never experienced such a large number of reindeer killed by lightning at the same time before. This is as far as we know a unique incident.”
The national park is home to Europe’s largest herd of around 10,000 wild reindeer that roam freely, according to AFP.
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