Lightning is being blamed for the deaths of 323 wild reindeer in central Norway.
The lightning storm took place in a small area of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau last Friday. Every year, thousands of reindeer travel across the Hardangervidda mountain area.
The Norwegian Environment Agency is a government agency that reports on climate and environmental issues in Norway. The agency said 70 calves were among the dead reindeer.
Kjartan Knutsen is the spokesman for the Norwegian Environment Agency. Knutsen told the Associated Press that it was unusual to have such a large number of reindeer deaths in one lightning storm.
“We have not heard about such numbers before” he said.
Knutsen said reindeer like to group together in bad weather. This may be a possible reason for their deaths.
He said, “I don’t know if it there were several lightning strikes, but it happened in one moment.”
The agency is discussing what to do with the reindeer. Usually the agency leaves the body of a dead animal wherever it is found, Knutsen said. That way they can decompose in the natural way.
I’m Patrick Merentie.
Words in This Story
reindeer – n. a large wild animal that has four long thin legs, brown fur, and antlers if male, that lives in northern parts of the world
plateau – n. a large flat area of land that is higher than other areas of land that surround it
calve(s) – n. the young of various other large animals, such as reindeer or whale
decompose – v. to cause something, such as dead plants and the bodies of dead animals, to be slowly destroyed and broken down by natural processes and chemicals