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These Images Of 300 Reindeer Killed By A Lightning Strike Will Break Your Heart

Authorities called it an "unusually deadly event." WARNING: This post contains upsetting images.

Posted on August 29, 2016, at 9:25 a.m. ET

More than 300 wild reindeer were killed by a lightning strike in central Norway on Friday.

Norwegian Environment Agency / Via miljodirektoratet.no

The Norwegian Environment Agency confirmed over the weekend that 323 animals, including 70 calves, had died during a storm on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.

Norwegian Environment Agency / Via miljodirektoratet.no

Agency spokesperson Kjartan Knutsen told the Associated Press it was not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an "unusually deadly event."

Norwegian Environment Agency / Via miljodirektoratet.no

"We have not heard about such numbers before," he said Monday. "I don't know if there were several lightning strikes but it happened in one moment."

Norwegian Environment Agency / Via miljodirektoratet.no

Knutsen told the AP reindeer tend to stay close to each other in bad weather, which may explain how so many were killed at once.

Norwegian Environment Agency / Via miljodirektoratet.no

Knutsen said the agency is now trying to decide what to do with the dead animals.

Normally, they are left where they died to let nature take its course, he said.

Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardanangervidda plateau at the change of the seasons.

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