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Group Tries to End Yearly Possum Drop

Current law suspends all protections for five days a year
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 7:30 PM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2019 1:11 AM CST

(Newser) – From Dec. 29 to Jan. 2, North Carolina humans can do anything they want to opossums. "No state or local statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances related to the capture, captivity, treatment or release of wildlife shall apply to the Virginia opossum" for those five days, a law states. A petition on Change.org that's now closed after drawing nearly 160,000 signatures said the law was passed in 2015 to allow possum drops. That's a tradition in one town that involves suspending an opossum in a clear box, the News & Observer reports, and slowly lowering it to the ground while the crowd counts down to the New Year.

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Animal Help Now said it's pushing for an end to the practice, possibly through legislation. Brasstown said it doesn't plan to hold the drop this year anyway, though it could happen elsewhere unless there's a change. While stressing that they did "absolutely nothing to harm" the opossum, organizers said the event was a "hard job to do, and it's time to move on." (In Florida, an opossum broke into a liquor store.)

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