Ah, New Year’s Eve. Staying up late, sipping bubbly, singing “Auld Lang Syne,” and … scaring the daylights out of an opossum? Unfortunately, yes, that last one happens every year at the New Year’s Eve “Opossum Drop” in Brasstown, North Carolina. During the cruel event, a live opossum is suspended above a raucous crowd in a Plexiglas box for hours before being “dropped” about 40 feet in a redneck variation of New York City’s Times Square ball drop.
The opossum used in this event was snatched from her natural home—a terrifying and disorienting experience—and is reportedly confined to a retail store until the event. During the “drop,” the frightened animal will be subjected to a screaming crowd, fireworks, and the firing of muskets, which can damage her sensitive hearing and respiratory system. It’s no wonder that eyewitnesses have reported that opossums used in previous years were shaking in fear. After the event, the opossum apparently will be released in a parking lot, putting her in danger of being hit by a car.
After PETA alerted North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) officials to the fact that the event’s organizer, Clay Logan, didn’t have the necessary permit to keep a wild animal, they hurriedly created a new type of permit for Logan, blatantly ignoring captivity permit or license requirements, including the requirement that animals receive humane treatment.
Please politely urge NCWRC officials to revoke the illegally issued permit for this cruel event. There’s no reason to be cruel, and the Opossum Drop would be fun and safe for everyone if a toy opossum were used instead.