Panda Cam Goes Dark Due To Shutdown, And People Aren't Happy

WASHINGTON, DC — The partial government shutdown — now the longest in U.S. history — has sent the country into a tailspin. Federal workers aren’t getting paid, museums are closed, and national parks are overrun with trash. Another casualty of the government shutdown: the Smithsonian National Zoo’s animal live cams.

“The Zoo’s live animal cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast. They are deemed non-essential and will not stream live until the federal government reopens. All the animals continue to be fed and cared for. A shutdown does not affect the Zoo’s commitment to our standard of excellence in animal care,” the institution said in a statement.

The zoo’s beloved Giant Panda Cam, which lets fans check up on Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei in realtime, has gone dark. And folks aren’t taking the news very well.

“It’s one thing to potentially mess with my tax return, but it’s something a whole lot worse to mess with my panda cam,” Devan Kreitzer, a self-described “avid panda cam watcher,” told NPR.

Some lamenters have expressed their frustration on Twitter:

Others have gone to great lengths to get their panda fix:

While we wait for the government to reopen, here are some YouTube videos of our favorite giant pandas, courtesy of the Smithsonian National Zoo:

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VIDEOS: Smithsonian’s National Zoo/YouTube

PICTURE: Screen grab from the Smithsonian National Zoo’s “Bei Bei in the Snow” YouTube video