The animals were situated on the central mountain plateau of Hardangervidda when the lightning struck, leaving the bodies of 323 deer, including 70 calves, scattered along the region.
Norwegian Environment Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told the Associated Press it is not uncommon for animals to be struck and killed by lightning strikes. However, so many perishing at once is unheard of.
“We have not heard about such numbers before,” he said.
Knutsen added: “I don’t know if there were several lighting strikes. But it happened in one moment.”
Knutsen noted that that during bad weather, reindeer stay very close together, which could be one plausible explanation for so many killed at once.
The agency is determining to figure out what to do with the massive amount of carcasses. In many instances, they let them naturally decompose in the area in which they perished.