- WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: 323 wild reindeer killed in lighting strike at a Norwegian national park
- The tragedy occurred on Friday at Hardangervidda mountain in Norway during a freak lightning storm
- Dead included 70 calves. Reindeers stay close together in bad weather increasing risk of mass casualties
More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lighting in central Norway in what wildlife officials are calling an unusually large natural disaster.
The Norwegian Environment Agency has released eerie images showing reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.
The agency says 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves.
Some 323 dead wild reindeers struck by lightning are seen littering a hill side on Hardangervidda mountain plateau in central Norway on Saturday
Some of the reindeer, with their eyes open, which died by the lightning strike during the storm in Norway on Friday
The animal tragedy is believed to have occurred during a lightning storm Friday.
Five of the reindeer were not killed immediately but had to be put down due to injuries, BNO News reported.
Environment Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told the AP it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes.
Knutsen said reindeer tend to stay very close to each other in bad weather.
This, he added, could explain how so many were killed at once.
The environmental agency said reindeer tended to stay very close to each other in bad weather, which could explain how so many were killed at once
These dead reindeer were among thousands which normally migrate across the Hardanangervidda plateau as the seasons change
A dead reindeer lies on its side on the plateau among hundreds of others hit by the strike
Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardanangervidda plateau as the seasons change.
The BNO website said the number which died is believed to be the largest number of animals killed by lightning ever recorded.
It said 68 cows were killed in 2005 in a strike on a dairy farm in Australia, according to Guinness World Records.