I saw a story about an entire population of reindeer killed by lightning in Norway a couple years ago. Is this true?
— Charles Kindermann, Rockford
A Norwegian news agency reported that lightning killed 323 reindeer in a remote area of Norway 2 1/2 years ago. Hunters discovered the bodies on Aug. 26, 2016. John Jensenius, a lightning expert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says it is not unusual to find animals being killed by lightning. “Of course, 323 is a rather large number, though we’ve seen reports of 654 sheep being killed in one spot,” Jensenius says. “Animals do tend to group together in storms and huddle under trees. If lightning strikes the tree, the entire group can be killed. The animals seemed to be in an area that was 50 to 80 feet in diameter and on a hillside, which gives you some idea that lightning can travel a good distance and still be deadly.”