The owner of a pair of donkeys found wandering the A12 near Witham in the early hours of the morning has been found.

Drivers dialled 999 at about 2.45am today to report that the animals were in the London-bound carriageway between Junctions 22 and 21.

It has emerged that the animals wandered away from a farm in the Witham area and the owner was looking for them when he heard about their exploits on a news report on a local radio station.

The donkeys are now due to be returned to their home.

The farmer, who did not want to be identified, thanked police and the media for the safe return of the donkeys.

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.