Texas lightning strike kills 19 cows as they shelter under tree

lighenng kills cows

Trees attract lightening. Sheltering under a tree during a lightening storm is a poor idea. Earlier this summer, I believe I saw news stories about people killed by lightening. They too were standing under a tree.

Got the idea? Don’t take shelter under a tree.


A single bolt of lightning striking a tree was all it took to kill 19 cows who were sheltering during a storm.

In seconds, the storm wiped out about a third of the herd in Hallsville, Texas.

Their owner, Ashley Anderson, said she and her husband had never seen anything like it, and called it a freak incident.

“It’s not something you see every day. Just kind of surreal to see it,” she told WSFA news.

“It’s just a freak thing; I mean they were just staying out of the rain,” she added.

“There’s really, to my knowledge, nothing you can do to prevent this.”

She added that lightning had never killed any of the family’s cows and none of the neigbours’ animals, at least not to this extent.

Neighbour Victor Benson saw it happen, reported WSFA. He described how he watched as one lightning bolt hit the herd “in the blink of an eye”.

Some animals managed to get up and stumbled away, but most were killed outright.

The dead animals were quickly removed from the field and were given to people for meat.

There is still reportedly a mark on the tree where the bolt hit.

The news comes shortly after 323 reindeer were killed in Norway by lightning as they were migrating across a plateau.

The sight of cows peacefully grazing in a pasture is one of the most pleasant sights you can imagine. My grandfather had a farm and although he had no cows, the neighboring farm next door did. I got to know the beasts quite well–through a barbed wire fence. Although cows are peaceful,they are huge.

Sadly, a wealthy Hindu doctor bought up all the farm land and built a huge mansion on it. The sturdy, independent white American farmer is almost gone. It’s something we’ve lost, partly because of globalism and diversity.

If you ever get a chance to befriend a cow, take the opportunity. The cow will enjoy it and so might you.

funny cows with caption

16 thoughts on “Texas lightning strike kills 19 cows as they shelter under tree

      • Where I live, farmers put their cows in their large barns if storms or snow is expected. Lots of trees in this state. With Doppler Radar, they know exactly, where storms are coming from. They never let them out at night, either.

    • I farmed in the Upper Midwest. Animal strikes like this were not unheard of. Very sad, and hard to see the farmers through it, as these were the smaller scale guys, not the giant confinement herd ranchers, and they loved their animals so.

      Lightning weather tends to be hot and humid there, so the gals would cluster in the shade for cool. In the coulee or upland pastures this meant that trees could form natural lightning magnets. However the tree in the photo was not “struck” in the conventional sense. If it were, the jolt would have blown it to bits. More like it attracted the current, which discharged through the cows standing on wet earth.

      I’m guessing that what happened is more like my own experience of being struck by ground lightning at 14,000 feet in the Rocky Mts. Except the poor cows wouldn’t have had the mountaineering training to know what to do when “the tingles” come up with a sudden electrical storm way above treeline. I’m reasonably sure it saved my life. It doesn’t take much of a current passing through the heart to cause fatal defib.

      For small farmers who had gone over to pasture-based rather than confinement herds, it was especially hard because the cows were so much happier and more outgoing and social in those natural conditions. They are as Paladin says truly wonderful beings. My heart goes out to the people who loved these cows.

  1. Wow Paladin! My grandfather owned a farm too! Although, he was running his own business, farming was in his blood, I guess. Cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens. ducks, cats, and several dogs. I’d spend weekends there as a small child making friends with all of them, particularly a black and white Guernsey calf I adopted and named…a “no, no,” said my grandfather. His concern we’d become too attached, which I did! She grew into a huge gentle adult with beautiful long eyelashes, always coming to me on Saturday mornings when I arrived.

    I miss those days!

  2. Some times these storms come up so quickly there is no time to move a herd to shelter and lightning can strike even before the storm hits. I was walking many years ago in North Hollywood CA and a bolt of lightning hit 2 feet in front of me and it wasn’t even raining yet. Better believe I boogied home.

    • It’s true thunderstorms can crop up out of nowhere, but farmers can eliminate as much risk as possible by monitoring Doppler Radar.

      If interested, search Doppler Radar for your city, town, state or region. You can see rain, heavy storms, coming. We can find out minute by minute, hour by hour, what time that storm will hit your street, your house.

      See below for Binghamton, NY where the map shows rain with heavy storms to come. At the time I looked at this, the site said rain will start in 32 minutes. Scroll down to see minute by minute forecast. If you read this soon after this post, notice heavy storms, yellow and red heading for Binghamton. I don’t live there, but I have been through that area. Many trees. Farmers know the dangers of cows protecting themselves under trees.

    • Lived in Southern California. Didn’t rain one drop in 5 years! Then, when it finally did, rained so hard, flooded everything. Appeared the clouds saved it for five years, then decided to dump all of it at one time! Ha!

      • HA! I’ve been few some of those floods. We’re going into our sixth year of drought. El Nino failed us last winter because a high pressure dome bounced it back to the north. They’re hoping La Nina brings some relief.

  3. In accord with Darwinism, the fastest growing and strongest trees get to the light and weaken their neighbors by depriving them of sunlight and also water and nutrients. This is not yet known as “Tall Tree Supremacy”.
    Then, Bam, lightning kills the tallest trees stone dead, usually with just one bolt. Another source of sudden death for the Supremacist trees is logging. Their wood is usually much better, stronger and more valuable than the midgets nearby, so down go the biggest and the best.
    The mediocre trees lurking in the shadows slowly grow to take the place of the stronger.

    Maybe a type of lightning is hitting all Western countries to wipe out the intelligent, tall, the fair and the strong humans? Give the dark and the weak a chance to have their day of sunshine.
    For trees, God did it, for Western countries (((almost humans))) did it.

    The fittest to survive are the short, the weak, and the cowardly huddling in the shadows. Especially those tress and tinted folks that pop out young uns by the millions.

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