If you’re fond of the National Zoo’s month-old giant panda cub, get a good look at it today while you still can. Because there’s a strong chance that it will be disappearing for a bit.
If the federal government shuts down tomorrow, the Smithsonian Institution goes with it, including the zoo. While the employees who are tasked with feeding and maintaining the health of the zoo’s specimens are deemed “essential personnel,” the ones who run the cameras that provide live feeds of some of the animals will not be spared.
If the federal government shuts down on October 1, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will be closed to the public. All programming and events will be canceled. All vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle paths into the Zoo will be closed. None of our live animal cams will broadcast.
All the animals will continue to be fed and cared for. A shutdown will not affect our commitment to the safety of our staff and standard of excellence in animal care.
The panda cameras are running right now, so enjoy them today. Tomorrow, they could very well be dark.