A pair of cows from Sisters Creek Simmentals, located south of Quesnel. Submitted photo

Cow was struck and killed by lightning, Quesnel farmer says

The cow was killed Aug. 23 during a “horrific hailstorm” south of Quesnel

A farmer south of Quesnel is sharing her own story of an animal’s death by lightning after hearing of a girl in the Lower Mainland whose horse was killed during last weekend’s storm.

Lynda Atkinson, who owns Sisters Creek Simmentals in Kersely, commented on a 100 Mile House Free Press Facebook post about a Fraser Valley teenager losing her animal, saying, “We had a cow killed too.”

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer caught up with her to learn more.

“It was a horrific hailstorm,” Atkinson says of the Aug. 23 squall.

“It was only a narrow strip but it was really bad for all of us.”

Her farm manager, Fred Harder, says he noticed something was wrong when he went out to supplement the cows’ feed with some grain on Sunday (Aug. 25).

“The calf was with a bunch of cows and it was bawling,” he says. ”Which means momma’s not around.”

He took a good look for the missing cow but was unable to locate her until Monday morning.

While Harder, who has been working on farms for almost 60 years, has seen animals struck by lighting before, he notes this case was odd, as there were hardly any marks on the stricken animal.

“The only thing was her [udder] was basically blown off. She only had one teat left, and where it had been blown off, it was a luminous green colour.”

Also of note was the lack of predation.

Ordinarily, a large dead cow would attract critters from miles away, but this was not the case for this cow, which had been dead for three days.

“There had been no predation at all,” Harder says, “other than a couple pecks on her tongue. Her eyes had not even been pecked, which was quite odd.”

The dead cow was not the only mishap to befall the farm.

“Our horse shelter took off too,” Harder says. “A 12-by-16 [foot] horse shelter with a small door was picked up and carried back 25 feet and flipped over onto its roof.”

The farm’s neighbours also suffered big losses to their crops and properties due to the powerful storm.

Harder says the type of weather is unique for the Cariboo.

“It’s rare for here,” he says. “In other parts of the country where it’s more wide open it’ll happen more frequently, but a hailstorm like what we had here was strange.

“It was just a strip all the way across the country. It knocked trees down all over the place. Anything that was standing in gardens was completely destroyed.

“It looked like somebody had come from up above with a 12-gauge pellet gun and ripped it apart.”

READ MORE: B.C. teen’s horse killed by lightning in weekend thunderstorm



ronan.odoherty@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

Students show off performing and artistic talents at GFSS

Grand Forks Secondary students hosted an art show and play last weekend

Grand Forks community centre open house set for Jan. 23 at the aquatic centre

Designers and the development committee will be at the aquatic centre from 4 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 23

Boundary Family Services takes over shelter management in Grand Forks

The organization got Grand Forks city council’s approval on Jan. 15

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Most Read