More than 500 sheep have been killed after being hit by a lightning strike at a pasture in the Ninotsminda region in southern Georgia. The incident took place on August 9. Locals in the eastern European country were shocked to see bodies of sheep lying in an open area. Footage captured from the incident spot shows that hundreds of carcasses were thrown over a green patch of land. Part of the dead livestock reportedly belonged to a local farmer from Tambovka and Kakheti areas. An inquiry commission has been set up to assess the loss.
Nikolay Levanov, a sheep owner, had on August 9 received a distressing phone call. He was told by a herder that hundreds of his livestock were killed in a thunderstorm. According to reports, the shepherd was also knocked unconscious by the lightning.
Artavaz Tonoiani, Deputy Mayor of Ninotsminda said nearly 1,500 sheep were grazing on the pasture on August 9. The grazing area is located at a distance of five kilometers from Tambovka village.
Even though the shepherd said that lightning was the cause of the deaths, Tonoiani said that there is no official confirmation on it.
Informing that a commission has been set up to probe the matter, Tonoiani said, “The reasons will be determined by the veterinarian. The only thing we can do now is to allocate a place where the dead sheep will be buried.”
Alexander Mikeladze, the deputy mayor of Ninotsminda, told Daily Star that this is the first case when such a large number of sheep died at a pasture ground. However, he also agreed with Tonoiani and said, “We have not heard that a thunderstorm could kill so many sheep.”
Levanov and the other sheep owners have reportedly appealed to Georgian authorities for compensation. Any compensation will, however, only be possible after the assessment of losses by the authorities.