Help Stop The "Possum Drop"
(Please scroll to the bottom of the page for information on who to contact to help put a stop to the "Possum Drop" in North Carolina).
There is a lot of buzz going on lately about the annual "Possum Drop" that happens in western North Carolina every year on New Year's Eve.
Akin to the "Apple Drop" in Times Square in New York City, the "Possum Drop" is a celebration in which a caged opossum is slowly dropped from on high into a large crowd of cheering, celebrating people at the stroke of midnight.
Many believe the event is barbaric. Imagine being a reclusive wild animal, being caught, caged and then exposed to the cold, noise and people over a period of hours. The "Possum Drop" opossum in the photo to the left has a bloody nose from trying to escape its "cage".
Supporters of the event say that the opossum is treated humanely and then released. Read a recent article by the local paper The Cherokee Scout here. Please note that although the mayor of Andrews, North Carolina states in this article that he has not yet been contacted by PETA, this is not true. PETA arranged an interview with the mayor, but he canceled it before it was supposed to take place.
An animal rescuer who witnessed "the Drop" in Brasstown, North Carolina last year had this to say:
"Last year a opossum that weighed less than 4 pounds was dangled in mid air 4 hours in 16 degree temperatures. I SAW THIS MYSELF! It's disgusting and cruel. I've sued the state and the wildlife commission twice, but the North Carolina government simply changed the laws 'allowing cruelty to opossums for 5 days a year' so this event could take place, leaving the public with no legal way to stop it. The 'Possum Drop' does not, nor have they ever used a pet (opossum)... The opossum is trapped or chased down by dogs... it's wild, it's afraid it's stressed, it's cold, yet it's dangled in the air for hours before the event."
You can find a year of documentation of news about and actions against the "Possum Drop" in North Carolina on the Facebook page Stop the Live Possum Drop.
Here are some facts that we are hoping will motivate you to send some emails to help stop the "Possum Drop":
FACT: The "Possum Drop" used to be held in Brasstown, North Carolina but it was canceled after last year's "Drop". Possibly because the owner of the site where it was held sold it.
FACT: The town of Andrews, North Carolina decided to pick up the tradition to take over where Brasstown left off and will be holding the event this December 31, 2018.
FACT: This December 31, 2018 will be the 25th annual "Drop" in western North Carolina.
FACT: Three years ago in 2015, North Carolina passed legislation which allows cruelty to opossums for five days each year. This law was written to protect the annual possum drop from lawsuits. The legislation makes it legal to do pretty much anything to an opossum five days a year, protecting this small group’s New Year’s event by legislating and removing opossum protections state-wide.
You can read the law here.
FACT: Opossums can kill up to 5000 disease-carrying ticks each season. They also get rid of pests like slugs, mice and poisonous snakes.
FACT: Opossums are the USA's only marsupial. They ARE NOT rodents. And are almost immune to rabies (there are no cases of opossums having rabies on record).
FACT: Because of their lower-than-average body temperatures they carry less diseases than most other wild animals (this is also why it is almost impossible for them to get rabies).
FACT: Opossums are solitary creatures and are afraid of humans and most other animals.
You decide. We are asking that you contact the organizers and hosts of this year's event to ask them to stop using a live opossum for "The Drop". Any wild creature would be petrified being caged and used in such a fashion.
Below is a contact list for the involved parties. Please write them POLITE emails explaining why you would like "The Drop" to be stopped. Please be aware they have heard requests before and have not budged and that the state seems to support this event given the fact they have changed the law to allow cruelty to opossums for 5 days a year. We are hoping with enough outreach and persuasion that this will change:
For a list of email addresses you can cut and paste scroll down to the end of this list.
The Honorable James Reid Mayor of Andrews, North Carolina firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.facebook.com/james.reid.735
Mr. Steve Jordan Alderman and Mayor Pro Tempore Town of Andrews, North Carolina email@example.com
Ms. Richelle Phillips Alderman Town of Andrews, North Carolina firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Mike Sheidy Alderman Town of Andrews, North Carolina email@example.com
Mr. Scott Stalcup Alderman Town of Andrews, North Carolina firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sandra Daley, Chair Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority (Event Sponsor) email@example.com
Mr. Mark Kimball, CEO
Erlanger Murphy Medical Center (Event Sponsor) Mark.Kimball@erlanger.org
Mr. Joel Storrow President McGill Associates (Event Sponsor) firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark.Kimball@erlanger.org, email@example.com
Much of the information for this article is taken from here:
Please share this article with your friends. We hope you will help us stop the cruel treatment of opossums in North Carolina's "Possum Drop".