A mother duck and its ducklings played a real game of Frogger on a freeway in Mounds View, Minnesota, resulting in drivers swerving or slamming their brakes to avoid running them over.
While some might think the ducks were cute, not to mention extremely lucky, the Minnesota State Patrol was not amused.
After video of the event surfaced, the Minnesota State Patrol on Thursday had a message for those drivers: Next time, don’t stop.
“I watched that video and I cringed,” Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Tiffani Nielson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “People should not stop on the freeway for ducks.
“It’s definitely a touchy subject…It’s not very kind, but the risk of a crash is high.”
The video was taken from a Department of Transportation camera along I-35W at Highway 10, showing how the mother duck led its ducklings across the busy freeway, miraculously avoiding getting hit. How they got stuck in the middle of the freeway is unknown.
“I completely understand the connection to a mother duck and her babies, but if there was a crash which resulted in a fatal or serious injury, a driver who stopped for ducks potentially could face a criminal charge,” Nielson told the Star Tribune.
Nielson said it becomes the value of a person versus the value of an animal or wildlife and that a person outweighs the value of ducks.
Carrol Henderson, a nongame wildlife program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, agreed, saying braking and swerving in a situation like that “places lots of drivers at risk.”
“Whether for deer or other creatures like ducks, we all need to look at not placing ourselves at risk in order to save an animal we might otherwise run over,” Henderson told the Star Tribune.
An official for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals agreed to a point but told the Star Tribune that drivers need to be attentive.
“While we would never advise anybody putting themselves or other drivers at risk, there are many situations where it is reasonable and advised to put on the brakes to avoid hitting an animal,” Stephanie Bell of PETA said. “This should almost always be possible if the driver is paying attention.”
Fortunately in this case, the ducks and drivers survived the ordeal unscathed.
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