In perhaps the most frightening display of caribou collapse to date, 323 unsuspecting reindeer were fatally struck by lightning on the mountain plateau of Hardangervidda in Oslo, Norway, last month.
Norwegian officials surmised a freak storm discharged an inordinately large thunderbolt that interacted with earth and water, resulting in roasted reindeer ruin.
Anton Krag, zoologist and CEO of the North Animal Protection Alliance, said “we are shocked by the event of this tragedy”. The editors at The Fox Gazette, who are lovers of animals on the far northern plains, hope that Anton’s pun was unintended.
However while the event appears to be another tragedy for Norway, it seems locals could be toasting mother nature to a job well done.
The macabre scene was discovered only after an employee of the Norwegian Environmental Agency was conducting a count in connection with official, yet ruthless reindeer removal. A scheduled hunt is set to destroy roughly 3,000 of the 11,000 to 15,000 reindeer that currently roam the area.
Oliver Strand, senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, says the hunt is necessary in order “to get a balance between population and resources in the area.”
The incident, which Strand describes as “both sweet and sour”, hasn’t been seen on this scale before, however it’s not a one-of-a-kind event. In 2005, lightning killed 68 cows on a dairy farm in Dorrigo, NSW, Australia. Similar incidences have occurred in Virginia, USA and Montevideo, Uruguay, where 30 and 50 cattle were barbecued respectively by a freak thunderbolt.
Many are now labelling the expeditious elk exit as suspicious, particularly following Strand’s incidental reference to Chinese food. Rumours are now rife that China is in cohorts with Norway in an attempt to boost resources for their national dish after an unceremonious decline in pork.
Meanwhile, an Icelandic newspaper known for reporting on elves, trolls, supernatural beings and talking cows has allegedly reported a tremendous surge in Kleenex tissues being delivered to the North Pole.