(USATODAY) - A family of two adult geese and five babies stopped traffic as they waddled down a major Indiana-Illinois interstate highway during Tuesday's rush hour.
When Indiana State Police Trooper Jason Madison arrived at the scene Tuesday afternoon, two non-police cars were already escorting the geese and goslings as they walked down the inner shoulder of the highway, Madison said in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
"The whole time, I don't believe the adults ever stopped," Madison said. "Some babies would stop, but once they got behind enough, they would scurry up to them."
For about 1½ hours, Madison drove alongside the family as it walked for a mile and a half to the Indiana border with Illinois.
At one point, Madison had to help the geese cross the five lanes of traffic to get to the outer shoulder, he said.
Madison said his sergeant now has a new nickname for him: the geese whisperer.
Illinois State Police and Department of Transportation also helped with the escort, Madison said.
Authorities decided not to try to capture the animals for fear the birds would scatter into traffic, he said.
The family of seven walked at least 2 miles before reaching a break in the noise barrier, WLS-TV in Chicago reports. From there it is unclear where the geese headed next.
There were no accidents or injuries reported due to the geese.
It's "fairly common" to see geese and ducks walk with their chicks to get to water around this time of year, said Christopher Milensky, a museum specialist with the Smithsonian's birds division, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
"Sometimes that involves crossing major roadways," Milensky said.