A Queensland dairy farmer has been left in shock after six of his prized cows were killed by a lightning strike.
James Johnston stumbled upon the animals’ carcasses at his Malanda property Thursday morning while preparing to milk the herd.
The bodies of the bovines, including four Illawarra and two Holstein breeds, were found grouped together in a paddock.
‘They just looked like a dead cow, but I didn’t cut them open… the insides would have been cooked,’ Mr Johnston told The Cairns Post.
The cattleman said there was a lot of lightning around and believed that was the most likely explanation for their deaths.
‘We just found them dead in the paddock… I am not sure what else it would be,’ he said.
The dairy cows were estimated to be worth around $1,500 each and could produce nearly 20 litres of milk daily.
Bad weather hit the Tablelands on October 19, with thunderstorms rolling through from just after midnight until 7am.
Nearly 100mm of rain has also fallen in the area between Wednesday and Friday, with more due Sunday and Monday before conditions cleared later in the week.
However, while Mr Johnston said the incident was uncommon for the region, it is not the first time livestock have been killed by freak strikes in Australia.
In January last year a single bolt caused the deaths of four cows in Gippsland after wild weather lashed Victoria.
While Warwick Marks suffered a devastating loss in 2005 at his Winvarl Jersey Stud in Dorrigo, New South Wales when 68 cows were killed by a single flash of lightning.