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Judge rules to allow 20th year of New Year's Eve Possum Drop

Dec. 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

BRASSTOWN, N.C., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Organizers of a New Year's Eve Possum Drop in North Carolina said the tradition will go on this year thanks to a judge's ruling.

Clay Logan, 67, of Brasstown, said he plans to catch an opossum this week to use for the 20th annual New Year's Eve Possum Drop, which involves lowering a live animal in a specially made box, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported Tuesday.

"We'll just take a dog and two or three fellas and we'll have a good time," Logan said.

He said the usual means of catching the opossum is to have the dogs chase it up a tree and then the humans shake it down.

Wake County Superior Judge Allen Baddour issued a ruling Monday allowing Logan to capture and keep a live opossum for the event. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had lodged a challenge against Logan's being issued a license for the event, arguing Logan does not have the proper qualifications to care for the animal in captivity.

PETA lawyers argued the opossum could suffer a number of ailments as a result of the captivity and "jostling" from the drop.

The Wildlife Resources Commission said Logan's license requires him to abide by a number of conditions, including having the opossum checked out by a veterinarian and making sure the animal receives a diet similar to what it would eat in the wild.

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