The 2014-2015 Possum Drop poster. Photo courtesy ClaysCorner.com
BRASSTOWN, N.C., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The organizer of North Carolina's New Year's "Possum Drop" said the event will go on despite litigation, but will feature a lifeless opossum, possibly roadkill.
Clay Logan, who has lowered live opossums in boxes at the annual New Year's Eve celebration in Brasstown for several years, said he is avoiding using a live opossum this year due to an unresolved lawsuit from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
He said possibilities include using a toy opossum or a roadkill animal.
"We may have possum stew or something if we find one dead," Logan told the Charlotte Observer. "No live possums, let's put it like that."
Logan said he used a roadkill opossum in one of the previous 20 Possum Drop events to circumvent a previous lawsuit from PETA.
"Rain, storm, sleet or dark of night will not stop the Possum Drop," he said "It's a good family event. It's good clean family fun, a good old redneck good time."
PETA also sued to stop the event last year, but a judge ruled to allow the event to go forward with a live animal.
Logan said the opossums in previous years were not harmed and he released them back into the wild after the events.
"We honor the possum," he said. "We don't shorten their lives -- we prolong his life. They're going to get run over anyway."
PETA attorney Martina Bernstein said the organization does not object to using a roadkill opossum.
"If an animal is killed by accident, we're obviously sorry it met its demise prematurely," Bernstein said Monday. "But that's an accident. It's different from deliberately hunting an animal with dogs, chasing it up a tree."