The intense heat wave that swept through the Great Plains region last weekend played a major role in the killing of thousands of cattle in Kansas, according to the state's Department of Health and Environment.
This unfortunate occurrence was amplified on social media.
For example, one piece of video footage, which now has more than 10,000 views on YouTube, shows rows of cattle carcasses lined up along the edge of a Kansas farm field.
State officials blamed the deaths on the blistering temperatures from over the weekend, which exceeded 100 degrees.
"The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is aware of at least 2,000 cattle deaths that occurred in the southwest part of Kansas," Matt Lara, the agency's communications director, told NPR Thursday.
Lara also confirmed the drought-like conditions made it "difficult for the cows to stay cool."
The agency's ballpark estimate of 2,000 cattle deaths reflects only the losses at farms that asked for help in disposing of carcasses. As such, the actual death count could be tangibly higher.
The new losses come at a time when cattle farmers across the Great Plains are already gripping with high winds in the area, which could potentially lead to wildfires.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor website, a large swath of western Kansas is currently being classified as "abnormally dry" or "in a drought."
States like Kansas have had to make quick adjustments to the surging heat.
In Haskell County, citing weather data from Kansas State University, "the heat rocketed from a moderate high of 79.9 degrees on June 9 to a scalding 101.1 degrees just two days later."
After that, Kansas had to endure three consecutive days of triple-digit highs, according to KSU weather control.
Haskell County was the top cattle-producing county in Kansas last year, with a reported count of 385,000 head of cattle.
A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Agriculture confirmed to NPR on Thursday that "several weather factors combined which led to heat stress for cattle that impacted cattle producers."
However, the representative also explained that cattle ranches aren't required to report their losses, "so we don't have any data about the extent of the impact."
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