Best Dressed Possum

The schools in New Zealand have turned to something quirky to raise money.

Students at the Uruti School participated in a fundraiser where they dressed up dead possums in doll clothing. The event raised $8000 and the Principal of the school, Pauline Sutton, said it was one of the best turn outs they had ever had. The money raised was two times as much as they originally expected.

The article does not go into detail about how the money was actually raised. Maybe the possum dolls were sold? However the money was raised, the SPCA called the event “disappointing”. They said the fundraiser completely went against their mission of teaching children respect and empathy for animals. Dressing up dead possums doesn’t seem to to be very respectful of animals, but Pauline Sutton thinks differently. “Animals aren’t the only species that are dressed up after they die. We do it to humans, too.”

My concern with that statement is that humans are dressed in life as well as death. Animals go around naked all their life, so why put clothes on them after they die unless to make a mockery of it?

This event shows just how unique the culture is in rural parts of New Zealand. It is unlike the majority of the things you see in the United States. The Uruti School has only 14 students and their “Pig Hunt” fundraiser (as this is called) happens annually. Hunting is a large part of culture in that area, so the residents do not bat an eye at the Best Dressed Possum competition.

Do you agree with this event? Is it malicious or done in a good sense of fun?

Here are some pictures of the possums from Taranaki Daily News Online:

possum3 possum4 possum2 possum5 possumpic1



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