Three donkeys struck, killed by lightning

A fierce lightning storm passed through Chilton County on July 17 and killed three donkeys owned by Ralph Mims on his property at 247 County Road 77 in Clanton.

The result is an unfortunate reminder of the damage that lightning can cause and the short time that it takes to do so.

“People do not respect lighting enough,” Mims said.

The donkeys were each about 8 to 10 years old and were used by Mims to help work on the land.

“They were just good working donkeys,” Mims said. “I would have never sold them for nothing.”

The storm came through the Chilton County area during the late afternoon and early evening hours.

It was a strange scene afterward, with two of the donkeys lying at the base of a tree, while another was out in the open field.

They were the only donkeys that Mims owned.

“Lightning is not something to be messed with,” Mims said. “You might not be so lucky one day.”

People may not often think about their farm animals being vulnerable to a lightning storm, but the events of July 17 are a reminder that everything can change in the blink of an eye.

A horse was in the same fenced off area as the donkeys, and Mims’ prize cattle were in the next field over. However, both the horse and the cattle remained unscathed.

The short proximity to the other animals from where the donkeys were struck demonstrates the unpredictability of lightning.

What led to the donkeys being struck and how far apart the one ended up from the other two is still a mystery, but something that Mims will never forget.

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