RALEIGH, N.C. -December 16, 2011 --
If an animal rights group gets its way, people in a small North Carolina town will have to greet the new year without lowering a scrappy marsupial to the ground. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent a letter to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission calling for a halt to the Opossum Drop. The event has been held for 18 years at Clay's Corner store in the Brasstown community in the far western tip of the state.
During the celebration, an opossum is lowered to the ground in a transparent box in imitation of the famous ball drop at Times Square.
PETA says the event is cruel, and it lacks proper permits for the display of wild animals.
Clay Logan, a co-owner of the store, says the animals are always treated well.
A spokesman for the commission says PETA's complaint is being reviewed.