A herd of 31 cows were killed Saturday when lightning struck a tree they were huddled under on an Alabama farm.
The Gardner family, who own the farm, claimed they lost upwards of $25,000 to $30,000 because they could not salvage the meat, FOX10 reported. (RELATED: 6-Year-Old Boy Dies From Same Lightning Strike Which Killed Father Weeks Earlier)
Lightning strike kills dozens of cows in Alabama https://t.co/0BnsZi6Gs3
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“50,000 degrees Fahrenheit that will literally cook the sap in the tree. Now obviously the sap runs down, runs in to the roots, it is a conductor, the cows are near the trees and unfortunately they get electrocuted,” WBRC Meteorologist Fred Hunter said, according to FOX10.
The Gardners claim 16 of their remaining cows were not injured during the lightning storm, according to the outlet.
Animals like cattle are reportedly at greater risk to die during lightning strikes because they often live in wide open fields and tend to huddle under trees, which are conductors for lightning, ClickOrlando reported.
Dr. Jacque Minger, a veterinarian and daughter of a cattle rancher, claims that cattle deaths during lighting strikes cost farm owners thousands of dollars, according to FOX10.
During the Ocala Livestock Auction in July 2021, a 500-600 pound steer reportedly cost $786, the outlet reported, meaning the cost of the Gardner’s 31 cows runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.
“There’s not much to do to protect them from Mother Nature but having insurance on your herd is always a good idea,” Minger said, according to ClickOrlando.