What? Even the panda cams? Government shutdown would hit National Zoo

Story highlights

  • The National Zoo's lion and elephant cameras would also go dark
  • The zoo would be open over the weekend, but closed starting Monday

Washington (CNN)Expect pandemonium. If Congress fails to avert a government shutdown by its Friday deadline, the popular panda cameras at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington will be turned off, according to a statement from the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian's lion and elephant cameras will also go dark if the federal government is shut down, the statement read.
    If a shutdown occurs, visitors will still be able to visit the National Zoo, as well as Smithsonian museums, over the weekend. But the zoo and the museums would be closed beginning Monday.
    The panda cams allow curious folk and panda enthusiasts to watch the three giant pandas -- Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Bei Bei -- while they play, roam around, sleep and chomp on bamboo. The cameras also permit researchers to collect behavioral data on the pandas.
    How to fly a panda halfway across the world
    How to fly a panda halfway across the world

      JUST WATCHED

      How to fly a panda halfway across the world

    MUST WATCH

    How to fly a panda halfway across the world 00:59
    The cameras live-stream on the zoo's website 24/7, but they aren't trained on the pandas during the zoo's non-business hours.
    The Smithsonian statement noted that if the federal government shuts down, the zoo's animals will still receive food and other care.
    Panda's first snow day at the National Zoo
    sot bao bao first snow national zoo_00005120

      JUST WATCHED

      Panda's first snow day at the National Zoo

    MUST WATCH

    Panda's first snow day at the National Zoo 01:04
    "A shutdown will not affect the Zoo's commitment to the safety of staff and the standard excellence in animal care," the statement read.
    The Smithsonian said it is following the same procedure it implemented during the 2013 government shutdown.