Mountain Wildlife Days

2021 Mountain Wildlife Days at Sapphire Valley Resort July 14 and 15, 2021


The 14th annual Mountain Wildlife Days is scheduled for July 14 and 15 at the Sapphire Valley Community Center, located 3 miles east of Cashiers, NC. A special new presenter, Carlton Burke will headline a program titled “Hunters in the Sky”. Burke is a naturalist and educator who operates “Carolina Mountain Naturalists” with his boite a outils which specializes in presenting “live” animal and nature programs.

Several of the programs offer up close and personal visits with wildlife!



CARLTON BURKE—A naturalist and educator, he operates an educational service called “Carolina Mountain Naturalist” which specializes in presenting “live” animal and nature programs along with displays for a variety of organizations in Western North Carolina.

MICHAEL SKINNER—An experience naturalist, he provides leadership for the Balsam Mountain Nature Preserve. His “live” raptors program includes an American eagle, hawks, owls, and others which provide an up close experience

BILL LEA—A noted black bear expert, Lea is a world class nature photographer and wildlife advocate. He has been an important part of all 14 Mountain Wildlife Days.

GERALDINE REGAN—Along with her puppet, “Ricky”, Geraldine is a wildlife advocate and has noted humorist for organizations throughout the county.

ROB GUDGER—He is a wolf expert who provides a unique up close experience with his “live” wolves. He is a major favorite for both adults and children for many years at MWD.

ZOO TO YOU—Their “Wildlife Wonders” program provide a variety of “live” animals for the audience. They have been featured on Animal Planet, local television and are nationally recognized as outstanding wildlife educators.


Mountain Wildlife Days 2021!

The 2021 event will continue to put emphasis on a variety of “live” animal presentations along with providing unique opportunities to experience nature in a positive and meaningful way. .

SCHEDULED PROGRAMS: The Balsam Mountain Trust will feature some of their “flying” raptors along with a variety of other birds of prey, including an American Eagle. On Friday afternoon, one of our very popular wildlife educators, Carlton Burke, will do a special free admission, “Owls-Masters of the Night” presentation for the Sapphire Valley campers, Boys and Girls Club and other area youth groups. Burke will also do a Saturday morning program featuring some of WNC’s mammals, reptiles and snakes. Rob Gudger and his wolves will be doing a unique program centering on a National Geographic presentation titled, “Wolves, Wolf-Dogs and Our Dogs”. One of the all time MWD favorites, Wildlife Wonders from the North Georgia Zoo, will bring in a variety of their animals from “Around the World”.

A popular outdoor aspect on Friday morning involves hikes to scenic area locations, led by expert hike leaders. In addition, the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society, hopefully will provide another informative “Bird Walk” to learn more about our area birds. These activities are free, however, advance sign-up at the Sapphire Valley Community Center is required.

Friday night includes the opening of MWD’s Silent Auction. A very special guest, comedian Geraldine Regan and her puppet, “Ricky” will entertain the audience on Friday night. Geraldine is a highly regarded performer and brings Ricky to life for the audience! Bill Lea, who has been a part of all 13 past MWD events, will be sharing some of his outstanding photographs and Caring for Creation comments during the second portion of Friday night’s program.

Plans are to continue the Silent Auction. It is amazing how many children and adults have had unique wildlife experiences provided for them throughout the school year with items donated by area businesses,organizations and purchased by MWD attendees.Those involved in the Silent Auction will have made possible 14 presentations for an estimated 1200 to 1300 students and adults during the academic school year!

About Us

Our Mission

Mountain Wildlife Days is an event, held each year in mid-July, featuring unique opportunities for both children and adults to get up close and learn more about “wildlife and wild places”. It is co-sponsored and held at the Sapphire Valley Resort, located 3 miles east of Cashiers. The goal is to provide entertaining and informative programs, focusing on “live animals” along with “wildlife experts”, designed to develop awareness and a deeper appreciations of the beauty and wonders of nature.

In addition, Mountain Wildlife Days partners with Wild South to provide similar wildlife education programs at other locations for schools and other organizations in Western North Carolina throughout the school year.


Cashiers, NC, USA


Mountain Wildlife Days On the Road!

Our Mountain Wildlife Outreach (made possible by our Silent Auction) will go to over 1200 students in WNC this year, including the Cashier Boys and Girls Club, Summit School, Highlands and Blue Ridge! We also are scheduled to go to Franklin (2),and Asheville (2) In cooperation with the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society the “Wings to Soar” group from Rock City will be presenting their “flying raptors” on the morning of April 20 at Highlands Schools and at Blue Ridge in the afternoon.

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Acknowledgements: All Wildlife and Nature Images Courtesy Bill Lea.
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