For motorists traveling on Route 1 in southern Lincolnville, traffic flow was typical for a weekday morning; some stops, without any major delays.

Typical became unusual, as traffic in both northbound and southbound lanes came to a halt at a section of highway with no traffic signals, no road construction or accident or disabled vehicle, not even a four-way intersection to explain the cause. The inexplicable became explicable when a gray, four-legged creature came into view as it walked to the center of the roadway.

Sometime between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, Lincolnville Animal Control Officer Heidi Blood was transporting two cats to the shelter, when she came upon the stopped line of vehicles. It didn't take long before she learned the reason for the traffic jam.

Obviously disoriented and confused, the gray fox appeared lethargic as it walked slowly back and forth, up and down, in front of, in back of, and alongside different vehicles. The driver of a white pickup activated the truck's red-flashing emergency lights, typically equipped in private vehicles owned by volunteer firefighters and other emergency rescue personnel.

Drivers waited for opportunities to inch their vehicles around the wandering fox, being careful to avoid hitting it. Often the fox would simply stop randomly in front of a car, beside a tractor-trailer or in between the rear and front bumpers of two vehicles in the same lane.

At one point, a female driver who had managed to maneuver her car around the fox rolled down her passenger-side window to shout a warning to the Camden Herald photographer: "It might be rabid." Obviously, something was seriously wrong with the fox.

Blood, who had an empty animal carrier in her vehicle, offered it to unidentified individuals, who were attempting to capture the fox. At some point, the fox ceased rambling around the road, sat and remained in one place.

It was captured, offering no resistance; and was placed in the animal carrier. Blood said she believes the fox was transported to the Searsport Veterinary Hospital, where it was euthanized and its body was sent for rabies testing.