Jun 19, 2015

Lightning strike kills antelope southeast of Buffalo

A bolt of lightning struck three antelope dead in southeastern Johnson County last month.

A citizen found the dead animals in a neighbor's pasture on May 16, the day after an electrical storm had passed through the area.

A May 15 lightning strike took the lives of these antelope in Johnson County. Photo courtesy Wyoming Game and Fish Department
“With the pronghorn close to the road, the landowner suspected someone had shot the pronghorn and left them where they dropped,” says a Wyoming Game and Fish Department newsletter released Friday. The landowner contacted contacted Buffalo Game Warden Jim Seeman.

Seeman, however, noted that the antelope were very close together; if they'd been shot at by a poacher, they likely would have ran and wound up further apart, he figured.

The game warden was quickly able to determine the cause of the death, finding a large burn mark on the neck of one of the animals.

For people, the deaths can serve a reminder of the importance to take electrical storms seriously. The National Weather Service's Riverton office has compiled some lightning facts and safety tips on its website.

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