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