Smokey Bear was the living symbol of fire prevention for an ext than 25 years. The American black color bear to be orphaned throughout the may 1950 Capitan gap Fire in Capitan, N.M. The months-old cub was found and rescued by Forest company workers.

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The Capitan gap Fire started may 4, 1950, likely from a carelessly tossed cigarette, and also burned because that a week. Authorities said 14,000 acre of greatly federal land melted in the fire.

Hotfoot Teddy is going to be all right

The initial reporting of the be affected by each other cub’s story described him as hot Foot Teddy together in this May 12, 1950, write-up from the associated Press in Santa Fe:

“‘Hotfoot Teddy,” the virtually well-browned brown bear cub, is going come be every right.

“HFT, about a month old, was flown here Wednesday in a private airplane after Forest organization men uncovered him ~ above a rock slide, all four of his small feet badly shed in a forest fire on Capitan Mountain.

“Dr. Edwin J. Smith, Santa Fe veterinarian who closely bandaged HFT’s blistering paws, stated the cub will certainly be hospitalized till his seared footpads heal, climate turned earlier to the woodland Service. Eventually, Hotfoot Teddy is meant to be released in part wilderness area.”

On June 8, 1950, The Alamogordo News to update the cub"s progress:

Cub melted in fire still has sore feet

“The tiny black bear, rescued indigenous the seared area that the recent Capitan woodland fire, is recovering under the watchful eye the Dr. E.J. Smith, Santa Fe veterinarian, and the care of its brand-new foster parent, beam Bell, chef of the new Mexico room of Game and also Fish ar force.

“ ‘Smokey’ or ‘Hotfoot Teddy,’ as that is sometimes called, had all 4 feet badly burned in the fire which, because of a carelessly thrown cigarette, destroyed about 15 million plank feet of timber and untold wildlife.

“No one has actually been may be to recognize just what occurred to the mom of the tiny bear cub, however it is most likely that she either died in the fire or to be unable to uncover her means back to the cub end the charred earth.

Tiny be affected by each other plays in cardboard box

“The cub, three or four months old and weighing around five pounds, has actually been making a steady recovery ~ above a diet the pablum and honey mixed with milk. One of Smokey’s feet to be burned much more than the other three and it will certainly be sometime prior to the cub will have the ability to walk in comfort.

“Meanwhile, he is do the ideal of civilization and also has been seen by visitors who visit the department of Game and Fish every day. The Department has actually received countless letters and also telegrams from anywhere the country inquiring about the cub and also at the existing time the is to plan to offer him to a zoo when he is totally recovered.

“The tiny hurt bear, play in a cardboard box in the room of Game and also Fish office in Santa Fe, speaks more eloquently than any kind of poster the need to ‘Prevent forest Fires.’ ”

By June 14, the El Paso Times had actually this mention in that is “New Mexico Notes”:

“Now Smokey has actually been available to U.S. Chef Forester Lyle watt in Washington as a publicity help in woodland fire prevention and also game conservation.”

By July 4, Smokey had actually been sent to the national Zoological Gardens in Washington, D.C., whereby he lived for 26 years.

The report of Smokey Bear’s fatality ran Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1976:

What Has A Head But No Neck But No Head? What Has A Neck But No

“Smokey to be retired in 1975 after 25 year of service as the Forest organization symbol. He had showed up on posters, stamps and also television commercials with the now-familiar warning: ‘Only you have the right to prevent woodland fires.’

“During his tenure in the nation’s capital, the bear ended up being so renowned he was assigned a unique ZIP code to manage his mail.

“He was changed by a young bear that was discovered orphaned in Lincoln National forest of southern brand-new Mexico.”

Trish lengthy is the El Paso Times" librarian and spends her time in the morgue, where the newspaper keeps the old clippings and also photos. She may be reached at 546-6179 or tlong