The Panda Cam scene on Monday
(frame capture by the Wall Street Journal from the Zoo's feed)
The WSJ's Washington Wire reports Washington in Uproar Over Panda Cam Threat:
Washingtonians have remained stoic, even dismissive of news that a government shutdown could halt garbage pickup, street cleaning, and pothole-repair come Tuesday. But when the National Zoo announced Monday that continued congressional impasse would shutter the zoo and its Panda Cam, fans’ sole window onto the zoo’s newborn cub, fans traveled the stages of grief, from rage to bargaining and grim acceptance.Wall Street Journal or The Onion?
Panda Cam draws thousands of visitors each day inside the den of a female cub born Aug. 23 and its mother, Mei Xiang; traffic grew so heavy the zoo had to limit viewing time to 15 minutes. Virtual zoogoers appear willing to live without the Naked Mole-Rat cam for a time, but “PLEASE don’t let me suffer even one day without the Panda Cam!!!” Drew Winner wrote on the zoo’s Facebook page. “If Congress knew they were risking the shut down of the Panda Cam if a resolution wasn’t passed, I think things would be moving a LOT faster!”
As the bad Panda Cam news went viral, visitors begged the zoo to provide another online channel for news of their beloved cub. But zoo admnistrators dashed even those feeble hopes with a Tweet Monday afternoon: “We will not tweet or post to Facebook during a #shutdown, except in the case of emergencies.”