The 24-hour livestream of the National Zoo's giant pandas has turned off because of the government shutdown, and people are furious

  • The Giant Panda Cam offered 24-hour video of the three pandas in the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
  • It’s now gone dark because of the government shutdown.
  • Fans of Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei are unhappy they can’t see their pandas.
  • The San Diego Zoo has two pandas you can still check out on camera if you need your fix.

The Giant Panda Cam – which offered unfettered access to the lives of the three giant pandas living in Smithsonian’s National Zoo – has gone dark.

Due to the federal government shutdown, the zoo’s live animal cams aren’t being funded anymore. The people running and broadcasting the everyday antics of Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei have gone home, and the streams on the Smithsonian’s website showed nothing but blackness on Wednesday.

The people who feed and care for the animals in the Washington, D.C. zoo are working through the shutdown.

But the loss of the Giant Panda Cam is a blow to fans of the three pandas.

The panda cam being shut down is just the latest casualty of the government shutdown, already one of the longest in history, which began when President Donald Trump refused to sign funding legislation that didn’t include $US5 billion for a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico.

The shutdown has upended the lives of government workers in a number of agencies – 800,000 of them have been furloughed or are working without pay. It has also forced changes in the lives of people who depend on government services, from food assistance recipients to people trying to get married.

Fans of the Smithsonian’s panda camera can rely on the San Diego Zoo’s Panda Cam to check out their pandas, Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu, until normal government funding resumes.

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