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

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read