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Unclear whether live marsupial used at Possum Drop

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BRASSTOWN, NC (AP) -- The organizer of a New Year's Eve Possum Drop in western North Carolina is keeping folks guessing as to whether he used a live specimen to ring in 2013.

Country store owner Clay Logan lowered an opaque padlocked box adorned with photos of opossums at the stroke of midnight, not revealing what was inside.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed suit earlier this year against the state Wildlife Resources Commission, which had for years issued Logan a permit to trap a wild opossum. A judge ruled in November that it is improper for the state to issue such a permit.

Logan's annual celebration draws thousands to tiny Brasstown, where in past years a live opossum was hoisted high in a see-through box before being gently lowered at midnight.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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