Lightning Ends the Lives of an Entire Herd of Cows in China

In a recent lightning strike in China, 40 cows were found dead on a Shanxi ranch. (Image:  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
In a recent lightning strike in China, 40 cows were found dead on a Shanxi ranch. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

In a recent lightning strike in China, 40 cows were found dead on a ranch in China. According to investigators, the ranch uses steel for its buildings, which was believed to have caused the collective death of the cows.

In the early morning of July 14, heavy rains and thunder moved into the region of Shuo Cheng in Shanxi Province. A worker at the ranch heard a loud thunderclap and sudden painful cries from the cow shed. He hurried to check and found all the cows were lying on the floor and moaning painfully. They all sustained gaping wounds and were bleeding profusely. He immediately ran to the ranch manager with news of the injured cows.

An investigation revealed that the cow shed and feeding and milking racks were all made of metal and was probably the cause of the cows collective death. (Image: 10 10 via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

An investigation revealed that the cow shed and feeding and milking racks were all made of metal, which was probably the cause of the cows’ collective deaths. (Image: 10 10 via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

When the ranch manager arrived, he checked on the cows. “I counted them — 36 were dead and 4 were dying. I figured it was a natural disaster, a lightning strike.” The ranch raised a total of 48 cows and kept them all in the shed. He sadly remarked that the ranch was a joint venture among a few ranchers. The accident was a great loss to them all.

An investigation revealed that the cow shed and feeding and milking racks were all made of metal, which was probably the cause of the cows’ collective deaths. To help minimize the ranchers’ losses, the farmers were allowed to butcher the cows for market.

Such an accident is not the first of its kind in China. In 2014, a lightning strike killed 21 cows on a ranch in Yunnan Province, causing more than $400,000 in losses for the owners.

Translated by Cecilia Kwan

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