Bears are popular in children's stories, including Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, Gentle Ben and "The Brown Bear of Norway". An early version of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", was published as "The Three Bears" in 1837 by Robert Southey, many times retold, and illustrated in 1918 by Arthur Rackham. The Hanna-Barbera character Yogi Bear has appeared in numerous comic books, animated television shows and films. The Care Bears began as greeting cards in 1982, and were featured as toys, on clothing and in film. Around the world, many children—and some adults—have teddy bears, stuffed toys in the form of bears, named after the American statesman Theodore Roosevelt when in 1902 he had refused to shoot an American black bear tied to a tree.
Bears, like other animals, may symbolize nations. The Russian Bear has been a common national personification for Russia from the 16th century onward. Smokey Bear has become a part of American culture since his introduction in 1944, with his message "Only you can prevent forest fires".
Laws have been passed in many areas of the world to protect bears from habitat destruction. Public perception of bears is often positive, as people identify with bears due to their omnivorous diets, their ability to stand on two legs, and their symbolic importance. Support for bear protection is widespread, at least in more affluent societies. The giant panda has become a worldwide symbol of conservation. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, which are home to around 30% of the wild panda population, gained a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2006. Where bears raid crops or attack livestock, they may come into conflict with humans. In poorer rural regions, attitudes may be more shaped by the dangers posed by bears, and the economic costs they cause to farmers and ranchers.