As a wildlife correspondent and North Carolina resident, I am appalled by Brasstown’s planned New Year’s Eve “Opossum Drop.”
During the event, a live opossum who has been snatched from the wild is suspended above a raucous crowd in a Plexiglas box for hours before being “dropped” about 40 feet, a terrifying ordeal for a timid animal who naturally avoids human contact. The frightened opossum is subjected to a screaming crowd, fireworks, and gunfire. It’s no wonder that eyewitnesses have reported that opossums used in previous years were shaking in fear. Afterwards, the traumatized opossum is apparently released in a parking lot, putting her in danger of being hit by a car.
When PETA alerted North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officials to the fact that the event’s organizer did not possess and was not legally eligible for a permit, they simply invented a new type of permit. This move blatantly ignores existing North Carolina laws designed to protect these shy animals from abuse.
It’s time for Brasstown to ring in the New Year with a new tradition that keeps live animals out of the festivities. Please visit PETA.org/Action for more information.
Amy Skylark Elizabeth
The PETA Foundation — Black Mountain, N.C.