A mother duck stood dutifully Thursday afternoon next to two of her ducklings, both deceased, watching as speeding cars zoomed past on an ever-busy Toledo highway.
A passing motorist noticed the duck on eastbound I-475, near the Talmadge Road ramp, on the median and called 911.
Officer Scott Swartz, on the motorcycle patrol, was the first to respond. He approached the mother duck and tried to scoop her up to get her to a safer spot.
“She squirmed a little, so I threw my raincoat over her and grabbed her,” the officer said. “She’s a distressed mother.”
Another of the officers jokingly called Officer Swartz a “duck whisperer.”
Other officers who responded to the scene searched the surrounding area — including the grassy area around the entrance ramp — and peeked into storm drains for the rest of the ducklings, but none was found.
It appeared that the dead ducklings might have been there for some time; the mother duck appeared to have a head injury, Officer Andre Antoine said.
Officer Antoine and his family care for numerous animals.
He called his wife, Kele, and daughter, Alexandra, to pick up the mother duck so she could get to Nature’s Nursery near Whitehouse.
Officer Antoine said the mother duck, who appeared to be injured and had a closed left eye, might have been hit on the head with a lawn mower.