02/11/2005 13:52 – (SA)
Australia – A single lightning strike killed 68 dairy cows on an Australian farm, a farmer said on Wednesday.
The farmer, Warwick Marks, 57, said the lightning strike on
Monday killed half his herd of 150 Jersey cows at his dairy farm
outside Dorrigo in northern New South Wales state.
Marks said the herd had gathered around a tall tree to shelter during a thunderstorm when lightning struck the tree.
“The bolt came through the roots where they were standing; 68
were killed outright and another three looked like they were gone as
well but they were just stunned and came good a bit later,” said Marks,
who arrived on the grisly scene minutes after hearing the thunder clap.
“I was expecting it would be bad, but not this bad,” he added.
Neighbour Julie Moore said she saw the lightning bolt and heard
the thunder clap that rattled her windows a kilometre away. She was
among the first neighbours to see the carcasses.
“I don’t know how to describe it; devastation is all you can say – all these dead stud Jersey cows,” Moore said.
Marks used an excavator on Tuesday to bury the carcasses of the cows
which he said were worth A$70 000 (about R345 109).