“The energy then spreads along the ground surface, and if you’re anywhere near that lightning strike, you absorb it and get shocked”, Jensenius said.
The Norwegian Environment Agency has recently released a series of haunting images of at least 323 dead reindeer – 70 of them calves – killed in what has been described as one of the deadliest lightning strikes ever.
Earlier this summer, an anthrax infection killed off more than 2,000 reindeer in the Siberian tundra after rising temperatures thawed the 75-year-old carcass of an anthrax-infected reindeer. In total, 323 reindeer were killed as a result of the storm, according to the agency.
In one of the most catastrophic events of the century, 300 reindeer within a national park in Norway were struck by lightning last week. A spokesman told the Associated Press it’s not unusual for reindeer to cluster together during poor weather, though its uncommon for this many to be killed by lightning at once.
“We’re going to decide soon whether to let nature run its own course or whether we will do something”, Knutsen said.
As the seasons change, thousands of reindeer migrate across the plateau, moving between drier lands in the east, where they graze on lichens, and wetter lands in the west, where they breed.
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Officials say they’ve never seen anything like this on this scale.
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