A Queensland farmer made a grim discovery when he found six cows dead near a fence on his property, after thunderstorms ripped through southeast Queensland.
The cows were found lying in a row along a fence line on grazier Eda Shirley's Beaudesert property after a storm on February 26.
Two days after the storm her son Derek discovered the three calves and three cows, worth about $10,000, were all dead.
He believed the animals were killed when lightning struck the fence, and said the death of the cattle was a warning about the dangers of being outside in a storm.
"The storm was on the Monday afternoon and at about 6pm there was one hell of a bang.
“They were all killed in an instant, [there were] no survivors in that herd and it could have been any one of us,” he told the Beaudesert Times.
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The farmer hoped getting the word out about the livestock fatalities will make others think twice about being out in the weather.
“What if this had happened at a school or a kindy?” he said.
"We're lucky there weren't 50 of them there. It hopefully gives everyone a bit of a wake up call about the dangers of being outside in a storm."
Mr Shirley said he only investigated the site two days later because he'd spotted one of the dead animals.
The property normally runs 80 cows and calves, he said.
It is suspected standing water on the already-saturated ground near the fence where the cows died contributed to the strike's deadliness.