For about 20 years, residents of a small North Carolina town have welcomed each new year with an unorthodox substitute for the iconic New York City ball drop.
Slowly lowering a plexiglass box containing a live marsupial, locals look forward to the yearly “Opossum Drop” celebration.
Leave it to the dunderheads associated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to target any event – even without any evidence of mistreatment – involving the use of a live animal.
PETA filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, alleging the agency should not have issued a permit to organizers of the ceremony. A judge agreed with PETA in his ruling, noting individuals “are prohibited from capturing and using wild animals for pets or amusement.”
Though there is no evidence anyone complained about the opossums’ treatment during the drop, a PETA spokesperson contended locals can “ring in the new year” without “dangling a small, timid and terrified wild animal over a boisterous crowd and exposing him to bright lights, fireworks, and other frightening noises.”