Smokey Bear, the character, was created by the Forest Service in August 1944 as the lead symbol in its Wildfire Prevention Campaign. However, there was also a real, living Smokey Bear, himself the victim of a forest fire as a young cub. Smokey was born in 1950 in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico, where he was found badly burned. Despite the odds for survival, he was nursed back to health by veterinarians in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In June of 1950 the Forest Service transferred Smokey to the Smithsonian with the stipulation that his life be devoted to forest fire prevention and wildlife conservation. The National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., agreed to give Smokey a permanent home.