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Tell Florida Mayor That Terrorizing Possums is Not Family-Friendly Fun!

Tell Florida Mayor That Terrorizing Possums is Not Family-Friendly Fun!

This alert is no longer active, but here for reference. Animals still need your help.

Just a few weeks ago, the “Possum Capital of the World” hosted its 49th annual Wausau Possum Festival. At these yearly festivals, which originated in 1970, attendees bid on possums with the intent to torment and spin the innocent and frightened animals by their tails, all in the name of twisted entertainment and baseless tradition. It’s time to end the horrors perpetrated against these shy and harmless animals!

The small town of Wausau, Florida is home to under 400 residents and claims to have more possums than humans. This community boasts that it is the possum capital of the world, and even has a monument to commemorate them, so the question that begs to be asked is, why does this event hinge on abusing the very animals being celebrated?

Due to their striking facial features, possums are often viewed as frightening and are often unwanted guests. Although coming across a possum at night may be a little startling, they are actually non-aggressive unless threatened, intelligent, and beneficial to humans! Possums are the only marsupials indigenous to North America, and they eat hundreds of ticks a day along with waste and debris in their environment. Possums have survived for over 70 million years on this planet, and roamed the same land as the dinosaurs, making them one of the longest living mammals on earth, a truly miraculous feat that should be properly honored and respected!

Republican Congressman Steve Southerland and 2018 Gubernatorial candidate, Adam Putnam, are amongst politicians who have participated in these cruel festivals. Putnam shared photos on social media showing himself cheering on his daughter as she holds a terrified possum upside-down by the tail and smiles, and another of himself swinging the distressed animal on stage.

What kind of example is being set when individuals, including noted politicians, engage and encourage animal abuse? We simply cannot allow this type of “tradition” to continue. As it stands, this festival teaches the community and children that exploiting and abusing animals is an acceptable activity to look forward to on a yearly basis.

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