Fund-raising school competitions usually involve cake baking and sporting events, but at one particular school in New Zealand it’s all about dressing dead possums in funny outfits for a bizarre best dressed furry animal contest.
Looking at the photos taken at the Uruti School, on New Zealand’s North Island, you’d think this was a taxidermy competition, but in reality, the furry corpses were part of a weird display of dead possums, for a charity event. Basically, small children let their imagination run wild and tried to dress the furry critters as best they could. One was actually skinned to look like a posing boxer, while others sported bikini costumes and princess dresses. As you can imagine, the event enraged animal welfare groups who accused the school of encouraging cruelty to animals, but the teachers defended it saying it was “lots of fun”and that it helped raise $6,000 for the school.”There was an amazing crowd and it was lots of fun. Animals aren’t the only species who are dressed up after they die. We do it to humans too,” Principal Pauline Sutton told the Taranaki Daily News.
“Animals deserve respect, whether they’re wild, domestic or pets. We encourage empathy [for] all animals, even when they’re dead, and it’s a shame that a school is encouraging its children to do this.” an animals welfare group spokesperson commented about the weird spectacle. The possum may be just a cute furry animal to you, but it’s an introduced species in New Zealand, and it’s regarded as a pest. Apparently killing possums has become sort of a national sport in the island country. Regardless of its status, I fail to see how encouraging children to play with dead animals in this way can be considered OK. It helped raise money for the school, but I’m sure there are less morbid ways to do it
via Daily Mail