One of the busiest routes into Birmingham was closed for four hours by police on Tuesday because a stag was on the loose.
Thousands of motorists were stuck in long queues after Heartlands Parkway was cordoned off, while police waited for a marksman to tranquillise the animal.
After the two-year-old male red deer was shot, it was ferried by van to Sutton Park, where it was released after regaining consciousness and being checked by a vet. Experts ruled out freeing the animal at Cannock Chase because it is culling season on the heathland.
The traffic problems compounded other delays on the nearby M6, where miles of traffic was already queuing after a serious road accident in the morning.
The stag was first spotted at a car dealership in Nechells at 10am. Diane Constable, a receptionist at Lookers Vauxhall on Heartlands Parkway, said staff at the car sales centre discovered the stag in the used car yard.
She added: “One of the technicians went out the back and just found him standing behind one of the cars.
“I think he was more scared than the stag, so he ran back in. It was not a small animal, it had huge antlers.
“Nothing like this has ever happened before, so it was quite exciting.
“There were lots of police who sealed off the roads because it has been hiding in trees in the central reservation. It has caused absolute chaos.
“It has been made even worse by the closures on the M6 because lots of lorries avoiding that area became caught up in this.
“One of the security guys said he thought it had come along the train tracks and there may have been two more with it.”
Rose Wallace said her granddaughter had seen the same stag running through gardens in Shard End on Monday night and had already alerted police.
She added: “My granddaughter saw this stag running through front gardens in Dreghorn Road and Emington Crescent, on Monday evening.
“She called the police and they said they would monitor it.”
The rush-hour crash on the M6 sparked 20-mile tailbacks after a lorry smashed through the central reservation and collided with five cars near Great Barr.
The motorway was closed for an hour.
No-one was seriously hurt but queues lingered into the evening rush hour because of barrier repairs.