Police are trying to find the owners of two donkeys found on the A12 near Witham in the early hours of this morning.
Drivers dialled 999 at about 2.45am today to report that the animals were in the London-bound carriageway between Junctions 22 and 21.
The donkeys were first seen in the middle of the carriageway, then in bushes beside the road but were beside the carriageway when officers arrived.
South and northbound lanes were closed briefly while the animals were loaded into a horsebox from an animal rescue service based in Chelmsford.
There have been no reports of donkeys being missing in the Witham area and anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 101.