More than 60 ducks stranded on the UK’s busiest motorway were rescued when an intrepid RSPCA officer sprinted between cars to catch them.
RSPCA collection officer Kate Wright was called to the scene – close to junction 18 of the M25 near Watford – on Sunday, and was amazed by what she saw.
Ms Wright said: “The Highways Agency called us and asked for our help. I expected to arrive to find a mother duck and a brood of ducklings – but when I got to the scene there were dozens and dozens of ducks everywhere!
“The highways officers and Hertfordshire Police closed the road so we could round the ducks up and corral them into carriers.
“Sadly, some birds had been hit and killed on the road before the highways officers arrived. But we were able to round up around 60 of them.”
It is not clear how the birds ended up in their predicament, but because they were unable to fly away Ms Wright said they were “quite literally sitting ducks”.
She added: “I filled up every kennel, cage, box and other receptacle in my van with ducks. But there wasn’t enough space so I had to do two runs.
“I was sprinting down the fast lane, weaving between the halted traffic with a net, trying to catch the stragglers. It was crazy!”
Local police helped Ms Wright take the birds to a nearby nature reserve, Rickmansworth Aquadrome, where they were released.
“It was so lovely to release them at such a beautiful spot at sunset,” she said. “They were splashing around and paddling off into the sunset – it was so rewarding.”