The fierce storm that has been sweeping through central Spain caused widespread damage and in Navarre killed over 30 sheep and a cow who were struck by lightning whilst taking shelter under trees.
The incident took place in the Erro Valley in the northern Spanish region of Navarre, and 32 sheep, a cow, and a ram were killed during an electrical storm that hit the area on Saturday and Sunday.
According to a Spanish Civil Guard press statement obtained by Real Press, a lightning strike “must be the cause of the animals’ death”.
Local newspaper Noticias de Navarra said that 28 dead sheep belonged to farmer Patxi Salva Ibarrola, 53.
The other sheep and the dead cow belonged to an unnamed farmer, according to the Civil Guard statement.
Ibarrola told Noticias de Navarra that the other farmer called him about the lightning incident.
Ibarrola said he has a total of 500 sheep and 25 cows on the farmland, while 180 sheep are ready to give birth to lambs in time for the Christmas period.
The other farmer also has livestock in the same area.
Ibarrola said: “We think the sheep took shelter under the trees during the storm and a lightning strike hit them.”
After the farmer told him about the dead animals, Ibarrola went to the area to see what had happened.
He said: “The dead sheep had fallen in a line, it was a heartbreaking image. I have never heard of lightning hitting cattle in Sorogain in 40 years as a farmer.
“Also, I have never seen so many vultures in my life, there were around 600 of them. I’m surprised there were so many as it is said that vultures do not touch livestock struck by lightning.
“They must have been starving though because they had already eaten four sheep by the time I arrived.”
The farmer told Noticias de Navarra: “I have insurance and I’ve already reported the incident. It is important that insurance companies cover death by lightning strikes and I have it included.”
The Civil Guard in Navarre are investigating the incident.