Fans mourn loss of Panda Cam during government shutdown

The Panda Cam has gone dark. (Screen grab)

Sure, the U.S. government shutdown means 800,000 federal workers are off the job and thousands of parks and tourist sites across the country are shuttered, potentially costing the U.S. economy $300 million each day.

But one of the real let downs is the National Zoo’s Panda Cam, which has gone dark as a result of the shutdown.

The live video, run by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, was focused on giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and an unnamed female cub. Mei Xiang gave birth to her baby in August. Since then, the Panda Cam has been a daily highlight for many a cubical dweller needing the kind of pick-me-up that only a baby panda can deliver.

Alas, it has been turned off as the Smithsonian, like all government institutions, is forced to close all non-essential government operations.

However, the pandas will still be fed and cared for, reports CNN.

The shutdown has prompted mass mourning on Twitter.

Fear not, if you need a panda fix, the San Diego Zoo, which is operated as a not-for-profit, still has its Panda Cam up and running over here. Though, no baby pandas at the San Diego Zoo, just giant pandas Bai Yun, Gao Gao, Yun Zi and Xiao Liwu.