Press Release on Smokey Bear Arrival at National Zoo, July 1950, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Press release from the U.S. Forest Service on July 8, 1950, announces that the bear cub, Smokey, who was founding clinging to a tree in New Mexico after a forest fire, is traveling to Washington, D.C., as the official symbol of fire preventions. Letter from Lyle F. Watts, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to William M. Mann, director of the National Zoological Park, on July 10, 1950, thanks the NZP for its work on programs around in the arrival of Smokey Bear at the National Zoo, transferred from the U.S. Forest Service. The bear cub became the symbol of forest fire prevention in the United States..