Over 500 children and adults recently had the unique opportunity to learn more about
wildlife and natural places at the 16th annual Mountain Wildlife Days. This event
continues to draw visitors from a variety of states, as well as local residents.
The bird walk and hikes had excellent turnouts with local hiking leaders Robin Lurie
and Mike Kettles along with Russ Regnery of the Highland Plateau Audubon Society who
led over 20 adults in a walk to learn more about our local birds.
Friday afternoon, children from the local Boys and Girls Club, Sapphire Valley campers
and other youth from across the area were able to observe and touch some of the
assortment of reptiles brought by Wildlife Warrior, Steve O'Neil, an all time favorite of
In the evening, the audience enjoyed bluegrass music by Benny Queen and Kelly Smith
while some outstanding pictures of black bears ( by Alan Vetterick of Eagle Ridge)
were being shown. The Bear Lady, Gaye Owen, in the featured presentation shared
many useful tips, regarding co-existing with bears in her talk regarding “Let's Talk About
On Saturday, for the full house of children and adults present, the attention centered on
getting up close” as well as learning more about a variety of “live” animals. One of the
top wildlife experts in North Carolina, Carlton Burke did both. He provided, up close, a
variety of “critters” found this area in a program titled Wild Appalachian.
Everybody loved Rob Gudger and his two wolves and especially the chance to closely
observe and safely touch them! In the final presentation on Saturday afternoon Wildlife
Wonders thrilled the full house with many of the animals we know about but have never
seen up close. Petting them was a treat for children and adults!
One of the best Silent Auctions in the history of Wildlife Days produced over $3000
with all money going to providing Wildlife Education for WNC schools and other groups.
Local merchants and other group contributions, made this possible!
John Edwards, Director of Mountain Wildlife Days
There is a small $8.00 fee for all day on Saturday. Children are admitted “free”. For additional info call 828-743-7663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday's Bird Watching and Hikes require reservations. Please call 743-7663 as group size is limited.