The Spanish Speak Easy

Smokey Bear now speaks Spanish

Posted on: August 10, 2009

Who says you can’t teach an old bear new tricks?

At Smokey Bear’s 65th birthday party today in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Forest Service will reveal that it’s iconic fire prevention symbol is bilingual, as it releases the new Smokey Bear Story “big book,” an illustrated educational book in English and Spanish that officials hope will introduce his messages to a new generation of children.

“Smokey Bear is one of the most beloved symbols in American history, and his important message has been communicated to generations of Americans during the past 65 years,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said that by translating the story book into Spanish, “this new book will help mentor a new generation in carrying on Smokey’s message.”

Smokey Bear — often erroneously referred to as Smokey the Bear — took over as the Forest Service’s mascot from Bambi, who was on loan from Walt Disney for a year after the 1942 release of the animated feature film that bore his name.

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