One lightning strike killed 550 sheep in Georgia

550 sheep were killed by a single lightning strike while grazing in a mountain pasture in Ninotsminda, South Georgia. Authorities have refused to pay compensation and are demanding expert confirmation from cattlemen that it was a lightning strike that caused the animals’ deaths.

On August 9, Nikolai Levanov, a sheep owner from the village of Tambovka, received an alarming call from his shepherd who informed him that hundreds of his sheep had died during the storm. Fortunately, the shepherd himself was only injured by lightning.

Shocking video footage taken at the scene of the extremely strange phenomenon shows hundreds of sheep carcasses scattered across a green pasture on Mount Abul, a popular sheep grazing site in southern Georgia.

Levanov and other sheep owners who grazed in that herd asked Georgian authorities for financial help to mitigate their losses, but the official response was that a scientific commission must first determine the exact cause of the sheep’s death.

“Frankly, this is the first case of this kind. We haven’t heard that so many sheep could die because of a thunderstorm,” said Ninotsminda Deputy Mayor Alexander Mikeladze. “Of course, the mayor’s office will provide support, but first the farmer himself must bring an expert opinion to determine the exact cause of the mass death.”

On August 12, it was announced that 550 sheep would be incinerated on site because it was impossible to transport them from the mountain due to the difficult terrain. It is not known whether the owners were paid any compensation.

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