Celebrate Smokey: 75 Years of Fighting Wildfires

May 23, 2019 – May 22, 2020

 Smokey the Bear statue at the exhibition entry

National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Lower Zoo, adjacent to Lemur Island and the Great Cats Gift Shop Floor Plan

A new Smokey Bear outdoor exhibit at Smithsonian’s National Zoo invites visitors to look back at the legacy of one of the most famous residents in the Zoo’s 130-year history. As visitors stroll through the exhibit, they will see the rich stories of Smokey Bear the character and Smokey Bear the Zoo resident take shape. The “real” Smokey Bear lived at the Zoo from 1950 to 1976. Archival photographs and 14 colorful posters line the pathway in front of Smokey Bear’s former habitat, teaching visitors about his legacy as an ambassador for wildfire prevention and wildlife conservation. Complementing this outdoor gallery are bilingual panels in English and Spanish highlighting the real Smokey Bear’s story and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s forest ecology research. This exhibit was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, which is commemorating 75 years of the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign.