Beds, Herts & Bucks

About 60 'sitting ducks' rescued from M25 motorway

Ducks Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Road signs were used to keep some of the ducks safe - and handily point out where they are

An RSPCA officer had to "sprint" down the outside lane of the M25 to rescue about 60 ducks and ducklings wandering around the busy motorway.

The wayward waddlers, reported on the carriageway near Watford, Hertfordshire, on Sunday, were mostly young birds unable to fly.

"It was insane - there were ducks everywhere," said Kate Wright who carried out the rescue mission.

Although some did not survive, about 60 ducks were caught and released.

Ms Wright was called out to what she thought was a stray mother duck and ducklings stranded close to junction 18 on the anticlockwise carriageway.

Image copyright Three Rivers Police
Image caption Officers from Hertfordshire Police were among those rounding up the fledgling ducks

The charity had been called in by Highways England, and Hertfordshire Police had already closed the road when she arrived.

"When I got to the scene there were dozens and dozens of ducks everywhere," she said.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Road signs warned motorists about the ducks loose on the road
Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption All lanes were halted so the ducks could be rounded up

"It was insane - there were ducks everywhere and, because they couldn't fly, they were quite literally sitting ducks."

Ms Wright said she had to "sprint" down the outside lane "weaving between the halted traffic with a net trying to catch the stragglers - it was crazy".

There were so many birds, she had to make two trips with a police escort - which was also ferrying stray ducks - to release them safely at Rickmansworth Aquadrome, where they "paddled off into the sunset".

The RSPCA said it had no idea how so many ducks ended up on the motorway.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The birds were safely released at Rickmansworth Aquadrome

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites