The Smithsonian National Zoo's panda cam went dark Tuesday after the U.S. Congress failed to reach a budget agreement by the stated deadline, effectively shutting down the federal government.
"None of our live animal cams will broadcast during the #shutdown. The cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast," the National Zoo tweeted early Tuesday.
Although the zoo is mainly funded by federal money, the panda cams are sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund as part of a two-year, $400,000 grant to study giant panda health. However, as stated in the tweet, the cameras are operated by zoo staff.
The zoo's twitter account went on to share several important announcements before signing off from social media until the shutdown is lifted.
During the #shutdown all Zoo gates (vehicle, pedestrian & bike) will be closed. No one will be allowed into the Zoo except essential staff.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
All events are canceled for the duration of the #shutdown.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
A decision will be made tomorrow morning about the Autumn Conservation Festival & we will update you with that information when we have it.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
Before signing off, Zoo officials announced they'd continue to care and feed animals for the duration of the shutdown.
All animals will continue to be fed & cared for. A #shutdown won't affect our commitment to the safety of staff & excellence in animal care.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian network of museums, galleries and research facilities, which are 70 percent funded by federal money.