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Would ewe believe it! How hunt for lost sheep drove traffic officers baa-rmy

National Highways traffic officers came to the rescue of a lost lamb stranded in the middle of the busy M1 to make sure she was soon ewe-nited once again with her mum.


Traffic officers could be forgiven for thinking it was a bit of a woolly story when they received reports of a lamb stranded in the central reservation of the busy M1.

Despite several patrols going out on the lookout, they couldn’t find the lamb which was said to be south of Watford Gap services.


But one National Highways traffic officer sprung into action as his shift started yesterday (Sunday), determined that if there was a little lost lamb in danger on the motorway he would track it down.


Elliot Flynn – who is based at the Shepshed outstation – slowed down the traffic on the southbound carriageway so he could get a better look and spotted the frightened creature in the central reservation.


The lamb – who traffic officers have named Gappy – was so dirty that it was heavily camouflaged against the safety barrier and difficult to see.


“As I walked over the lamb came straight over to me and started cuddling up against my leg so I was able to pick her up and get her to safety. People in the stopped traffic were clapping and cheering when they saw what I was doing,” Elliot said.


“The lamb was tired and hungry because she had been out there for at least two days so we took her to the nearby Watford Gap outstation and gave her some warm milk.”


But rescuer Elliot’s heroics did not stop there. Having grown up on a farm, he knew that the lamb’s mother would have a matching number on her. So he drove to the field which the runaway was thought to have escaped from and found a sheep with the same number.

Elliot said: “The mum was there with another newborn and as soon as she saw her lost lamb she was licking her to get it clean and Gappy started feeding. We were so pleased to reunite her with her mum.”


After mum and lamb were ewe-nited, the farmer was notified so he could get Gappy checked over but fortunately there were no signs of any injuries despite spending two days next to high speed traffic.


National Highways Operations Manager Simon Mansfield said:


“We get a lot of animals on our network and we have to react quickly to get them to safety as soon as possible and to protect road users. This lamb was difficult to spot hidden behind the barrier and trapped between two lanes of fast moving traffic.


“But Elliot pulled out all of the stops to round the lamb up and make sure there was a happy ending to this tale.”

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