Police had to shut down the Autobahn 3 outside Cologne for a half hour on Wednesday afternoon as a mother duck desperately looked for five of her chicks who had not made it across the road.
The duck family had attempted the dangerous crossing at around 11:30 am, but five chicks were hit by a car and died, police report. The mother took her surviving offspring to safety, but returned three hours later to see if there were any survivors.
Police had to shut down the motorway as they attempted to cajole the mother duck off the road. But the bird refused to be shooed off the road and escaped the clutches of any officer who tried to grab her.
After a half hour she left the road of her own accord and went into a nearby green area.