A photograph released by the San Jose Police Department shows the black and brown cows lying dead in a long row.
The newspaper said Friday that veterinarians at the scene confirmed the cause of the deaths, which happened Wednesday. The veterinarians told the newspaper that cows often crowd around fences to seek protection during storms.
Meteorologist Fernando Torena told the newspaper he wasn't surprised that a single lightning bolt killed so many cows. But he called it "very bad luck."