City Desk

Baby Panda Will Survive Government Shutdown, Fate of Panda Cam Unknown

If the federal government shuts down in just a week's time, D.C. could very well end up festering in its own trash. Numerous city and federal agencies would close; so would libraries and recreation centers.

But what about the new baby panda at the National Zoo? What will happen to her?

While the National Zoo would be closed to the public, the unnamed baby panda will be fine, according to Linda St.Thomas, chief  spokesperson at the Smithsonian Institution. (The cub is still being fed by her mom, Mei Xiang, so that's free.)

"We will have staff there for the vets and the keepers and nutrition people. Everything they need for the proper care of the animals," St. Thomas says.

The future of the live Giant Panda Cam that has allowed the public to obsessively track Mei Xiang's pregnancy, her labor, and the first weeks of her cub's life, however, is not so secure.

St. Thomas says the Panda Cam is run by volunteers and that the people in charge of what stays and what goes amid a government shutdown have not made an official determination on the matter. "They have not decided on the Panda Cam," she says.

Worried about your regular workday panda fixes? That YouTube video of the baby panda sneezing may just have to keep you going.

Photo of Mei Xiang and her first cub courtesy of the National Zoo

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  • noodlez

    I WILL NEVER GET OVER THE FACT HUMAN BEINGS ARE GOING TO BED HUNGRY EVERY NIGHT AND YOU HAVE PEOPLE OBSESSING OVER THE FEEDING, HOUSING AND CARE OF SOME ANIMALS THAT DON'T EVEN BELONG TO US!

    SHUT THE ZOO DOWN, TRANSFER ZOOLOGISTS INTO TEACHING POSITIONS, RELEASE THE ANIMALS AND LET ROCK CREEK PARK RECLAIM THE LAND!!

  • Carlos

    Fuck pandas. They're not indigenous to America and thus have no place at the NATIONAL Zoo. What's wrong with a Maryland black bear? People are idiots.

  • Typical DC BS

    Stop all welfare, housing subsidies, TANF, etc. and tell people to follow illegal immigrants to their jobsites, yell "La migra" and apply for the open jobs when the illegals take off running to avoid capture.

  • HOPEFUL

    I *LOVE* MEI XIANG AND HER BEAUTIFUL 'LIL CHUBBY CUBBY!! <3

    THEY ARE SOOOO SPECIAL!!...

    I'M SO GLAD THAT THEY ARE HEALTHY AND BONDING!! THE NATIONAL ZOO HAS MADE IT HAPPEN AND MEI IS A WONDERFUL PANDA MOMMA!!! BEAUTIFUL, AS ALWAYS!! <3

    I LOVE THOSE RARE CARE BEARS!!:)

  • HOPEFUL

    It's also so cute that Mei had a "birthing ball" with her during delivery of her new cub--yea!!! :) (see pic)

    They are one of the cutest, most endearing species ever known!!-

  • HOPEFUL
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  • Roberta S.

    Please just remember that the House proposes to fully fund ALL but one not-yet-existent program of government.

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