Light blue background with black text. Illustration of Smokey Bear holding a shovel in the center.
Created in 1944 by the Ad Council in collaboration with artist, Albert Staehle, Smokey Bear is an American advertising mascot who works to educate the general public on the dangers of wildfires. Known for his slogan, "Remember... only YOU can prevent forest fires, Smokey Bear has been a notable part of American culture since his creation and continues to be featured in a variety of advertisements. Though well-known for his advertisements, Smokey Bear has an equally famous living symbol.
The living symbol of Smokey Bear was an American black bear who was in 1950 was caught in the Capitan Gap fire, a wildfire which affected roughly 17,000 acres of land. The three-month-old cub was rescued from the blaze and upon being treated for his minor injuries was given to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. The cub, by then named Smokey, made national headlines. Smokey remained a popular part of the zoo, receiving hundreds of gifts and letters from his fans Living at the zoo until his death in 1976, Smokey became a wildfire prevention legend and in the process, became the living symbol of the original Smokey Bear.