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Posted: May 03, 2017

Lightning strike kills 32 dairy cows

Photograph taken by Alan Hopps/Getty Images
Cows grazing (stock photo)

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By Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —

A Missouri farmer is reeling after lightning killed 32 dairy cows.

According to the Springfield News-Leader, farmer Jared Blackwelder discovered the dead cows when he went to milk them Saturday, hours after he saw an intense lightning strike.

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"They were just piled on top of each other," Blackwelder, whose farm is in Texas County, told the News-Leader. "They were huddled up, trying to get out of rain."

Blackwelder said he raised the cows.

"It knocks you hard," he told the News-Leader.

The lightning strike also dealt a financial blow. Blackwelder, who is insured but doesn't know how much his plan will cover, said the certified organic cows were worth at least $2,000 each, the newspaper reported.

The Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau shared a photo of the cows on Facebook, where it went viral.

>> See the post here (WARNING: Graphic images)

Stan Coday, president of the farm bureau, told CBS News that, unfortunately, the cows' meat couldn't be saved.

"Those animals are damaged and of course they had been there for a few hours when he found them," Coday told CBS News. "In processing an animal, there's a process that needs to be gone through. They wouldn't have been fit for human consumption."

Read more here or here.


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