There was another article in the paper the other day about Li'l Smokey, who was rescued in July by firefighter Adam Deem, after his paws had been badly burned in a forest fire. He named him after the original Smokey Bear, who was found in 1950 in New Mexico. They even have a blog about him at ltwc.typepad.com. He's being rehabilitated at Lake Tahoe Wildlife care, and he is healing.
I keep hearing about the fact that the original bear is Smokey Bear, not Smokey The Bear. Yeah, yeah, okay - but can you blame us for calling him that when the Little Golden Book, above, published in 1955 has that title? And the song we ALL know, below, written by Johnny Marks (also of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer fame) is called Ballad Of Smokey The Bear, with it's familiar chorus of "Smokey the Bear, Smokey The Bear...."
Even in this book published in 1960, the first line reads "Smokey the Bear Was worried."
I also have a later version of the Little Golden Book, with the background in yellow rather than blue:
I've been known to be quite stubborn - and I'll probably continue to call him Smokey The Bear. Because I feel like it.
They are even going to be setting up a 24 hour webcam for Li'l Smokey, so anyone who is interested can track his progress. Poor Li'l Smokey - I think and I hope that he will be fine.