In appreciation of past presenters who have been responsible for the success of
wildlife days over the years, the 15th anniversary will be dedicated to those who
have made this an enjoyable and meaningful event for all ages. Mountain Wildlife
Days will be held on July 13 and 14 at the Sapphire Valley Resort, who’s
management has been an important co-sponsor.
Hikes and field trips will be a part of opening day on Friday morning, July 13. In the
afternoon, a major”free” wildlife presentation, especially designed for area
campers, boys and girls club members along with other children, will be held
from 3:30 to 4:15 pm. One of Mountain Wildlife Days’ outstanding presenters over
the years, Michael Skinner of the Balsam Mountain Nature Center, will bring a
number of his “birds of prey” for a close up, entertaining and informative
A”special”Friday evening presentation “Caring for God’s Creation- Wild Lives and
Wild Places” will showcase the art and heart of BillLea’s world class photography.
Lea has been a part of all15 Mountain Wildlife Days and will be providing a “new”
and unique Southern Appalachian Mountain Wildlife experience forthe audience.
He will be joined by Brian Heller, an exceptional pianist, who will assist with an
inspiring musical background. A closing highlight will be a unique short video,
by Makem and Clancy, titled “All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir”.
Steve O’Neil, one of Western North Carolina”s most active “wildlife warriors”, will
open the Saturday July 14 programs at l0:15 am with a a presentation featuring
his “live”reptiles and amphibians. Steve, on occasions, shares sounds from
the Didgeridoo, an unusual musical instrument from the Outback of Australia. In
addition, he will act as MC and introduce other programs on Saturday.
Featured at 11:15 pm on Saturday, Carlton Burke, a well known wildlife educator
and rehabilitator; will bring a variety of animals for a program he calls “Wild
Encounters”. Carlton was on the staff at Western NC Nature Centerfor over 25
years and has been active with Muddy Sneakers in Brevard.
In the first afternoon program at1 pm, Rob Gudger, one of MWD’s most popular
presenters, will bring a couple of his wolves as he continues to educate “ all ages”
regarding one of our“most misunderstood” animals. Rob is also a popular
presenterfor other schools and organizations throughout the year and works with
the Smokey Mountain Park Service throughout the season.
The North Georgia Zoo continues to be the highlight of the year at Mountain
Wildlife Days and will provide the traditional closing event at 2:05 pm. They will
bring some of the larger animals from theirfeatured “Wildlife Wonder-Zoo to You”.
The zoo is located in Cleveland, Georgia.