Lightning Strike Cooks 15 Cows

Mother Nature likes her steak well done

Ranchers in Central Florida last night woke up to their beef cooked well done after a lightning strike Wednesday hit a cow pasture, singeing 15 heads of cattle.

When ranch hands woke up Thursday they found the lifeless bodies, including two calves, laying in the open field. But there’ll be no feast on the flesh of these beasts of burden.

The cattle, all hump-backed Brahmans, aren’t used for collecting beef, but instead are raised and sold to other ranchers to increase the size of their cows. They were buried in a mass grave with many of their cow brethren looking on.

Jerry Stack, foreman of Bar-S-Bar Ranch in rural Hillsborough County, said he thought he had seen it all in his 50 years in the profession, until this.

"Practically, the whole herd is laying in a pile," he said.

Each cow weighs between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds and the Brahman bull (not The Rock) that was fried probably weighed more. With no cow insurance, the ranch lost about $20,000. 

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