Seventeen sheep were found dead after being struck by lightning following a thunderstorm in the Central West last week.
Farmer Salty Taylor discovered the dead mob of pregnant ewes huddled together taking shelter under a tree early Friday morning on his property near Nyngan.
Mr Taylor’s sister Kristal Sztybel was at the property when the incident occurred and said the tree remained unscathed except for a pattern of missing bark which shows the path of the lightning bolt before it hit the sheep.
“They all fell leaning against one another,” Ms Sztybel said.
“The little one feeding still had its head between its mothers legs.”
“It was quite amazing, sad, but very interesting, because I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said.
Mother nature at its best, generous and harsh all in one day. You take the good with the bad I guess when you’re farming.Kristal Sztybel
Ms Sztybel said her brother had only owned the property for just under a year and said while he is “shocked” and “disappointed” the storms did provide the property with some much needed water.
“At least the storm that followed did some good and topped up the nearly empty dams on his property.”
“Mother nature at its best, generous and harsh all in one day. You take the good with the bad I guess when you’re farming.”
Ms Sztybel said the estimated cost for the sheep is around $5000, factoring in the lambs.
“He was very disappointed and shocked, but I think his first thought was at least it wasn’t one of the rams,” she said.
“He’s been doing the best he can … so this was a bit disappointing, but he’ll just have to work harder to make up for the loss.”
Ms Sztyble said the children were a bit upset at the loss of the lambs, as they had been hand-raising one that was killed in the strike.
The incident reinforced warnings from emergency services that tell people not to stand under trees during thunder and lightning storms.
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