Clay County Progress

January 19th, 2012


Possum Drop still under fire

Injunction filed to stop use of live animal

Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:41 AM CST This year's New Year's Eve Possum Drop went off without a hitch, but an animal rights group is already gearing up to prevent founder Clay Logan from using a live opossum in next year's event.

Logan said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) initially went before a judge on Dec. 30 to prevent him from using a live animal in this year's lowering of the opossum, but that request was denied. Then on Jan. 4, PETA filed a permanent injunction to prevent use of the live animal.

In the meantime, Logan has hired attorney David A. Wijewickrama, of the Waynesville firm, Brown, Taylor & Wijewickrama to represent him in the case. Calls to the attorney were not returned by press time.

"As far as I know, he's the best opossum lawyer in western North Carolina," said Logan.

While Logan can't resist using a few "opossum isms ," he takes the injunction seriously and said it could end up costing him a bundle. He's hoping all the support that flowed his way before and during the Possum Drop will continue in the form of financial support.

"Raleigh's a long ways off, so this is going to be a big expense," he said. "We had such tremendous support for the Possum Drop, I hope folks will continue to support us throughout this lawsuit."

On New Year's Eve, at Clay's Corner in Brasstown, the opossum is housed in a Plexiglass cage for about two hours and lowered about 18 feet at the stroke of midnight. It is released afterwards. The lowering of the opossum is one of several activities held at the event, which this year attracted an estimated 3,000 visitors.