Rare falcon chicks killed in devastating lightning strike
The 35 young birds housed in a barn were being bred for hunting
Some 35 rare falcon chicks worth around Dh1 million have been killed in a blaze started by a lightning strike.
The 8-metre tall barn in Abu Dhabi was completely gutted by the fire, which is understood to have broken out on Saturday morning.
Heavy rain and lightning have battered parts of the UAE over recent days, with sandstorms reducing visibility to just 200 metres in areas.
According to a report by Al Bayan, the chicks were being raised for falconry and were housed in a barn in Madinat Zayed.
Photographs of the scene following the fire showed the charred remains of the building. None of the chicks were able to escape.
The birds had won many competitions and awards, their owner Khalfan Al Qubaisi told the Arabic language newspaper. He described the birds as “priceless” to him.
“The lightning bolt was very strong, it burnt everything in the place; and the building turned into a pile of ashes,” he said.
“And the birds were completely roasted in this painful accident,” he added.
Updated: March 25, 2019 04:57 PM