SORRENTO, Fla. (WTVY) — Lightning poses a dangerous threat to livestock during summer months.
Florida leads the U.S. with the most lightning fatalities per year.
Each afternoon, Florida residents are bound to get a lightning show.
Lightning not only puts human lives at risk but also animals…
A south Florida cattle farmer experienced it for himself.
Joe Crawford, Ranch Operations Manager at Mo Brangus Cattle Company says:
"Several really bad electrical storms, Sunday was the first… that was actually the storm that killed the nine cows."
Nine cows that were going to bring in a big profit.. Crawford continues with: "between 30 and 40 thousand dollars."
And, in an instant thousands of dollars gone.
Not only was this an economic loss…
Crawford finishes with:
"Good grief cows are like family here…"
For a local cattle farmer occurrences like this hit close to home.
He says his job is at the mercy of Mother Nature.
"We have to watch it, I mean you know we have to bail hay through the summer to feed cows through the winter."
Hamm says while there is no set way to prevent fatalities, cattle have a heightened sense of detection.
"Cows are kind of like humans, you know they are pretty smart they seek shelter whether it be a barn in the field or trees."
Lightning will typically strike anywhere from 10 to 12 miles outside of a thunderstorm… if a lightning strike were to hit at 4 o clock in the afternoon and cows were under a tree, their lives could be in danger.
Breeding cows takes money and time...
Hamm says: "it gets expensive you know, there's no recuperating if a cow gets sick we can medicate the cows or take care of the cows but with a lightning strike-there's no cure for it."
Regardless, Hamm says cattle farmers try to always stay ahead of the storm.
One lightning bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.