Smokey Bear Dances at South Dakota State Fair [VIDEO]
Smokey Bear decided to get in a few sweet dance moves before he nestles in for a winter hibernation. The great Smokey Bear made an appearance at the Rosebud Fair and Wacipi over the Labor Day weekend. The national wildlife preservation mascot was roaming the grounds when challenged to a dance-off.
Every year, indigenous people such as the Lakota gather to celebrate their culture. Smokey Bear took a short break from reminding us that "only you can prevent forest fires" and joined the cultural dance at the Rosebud Fair and Wacipi.
Smokey Bear has an interesting history, too. His character is based on a real bear cub that was in the middle of a raging forest fire in 1950 in New Mexico. As the 3-month old black bear was trying to escape the blaze by climbing a tree, fire crews rescued him just in time. The small bear suffered burns to his legs and paws but was nursed back to health by a veterinarian and his family. The story gained national attention and the United States Forest Service adopted his image and ultimately named him Smokey Bear.
Smokey lived in a National Zoo for the next 26 years as a national celebrity. He received 13,000 letters a week. He read them all while snacking on peanut butter sandwiches and trout. Well, pretty sure he couldn't read but he was an amazing black bear and a national icon to this day.
Video source: USA Today