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The Panda Cam at the National Zoo is back after going dark during the government shutdown.
The cam was switched back on on Thursday after President Obama and lawmakers reached a deal to end the shutdown. Along with the Panda Cam, 14 of the zoo’s other cams are now available to watch online once again.
The beloved Panda Cam features 24 hours of live streaming video of Mei Ziang and her adorable 8-week-old cub who now has her own coat of panda fuzz. Fans of the stream were saddened that the feed was offline for the 16-day government shutdown, reports the New York Daily News.
The feed is funded privately, but it also requires federal resources to run, which is why it had to go offline during the shutdown, according to the New York Times.
The return of the Panda Cam on Thursday morning was met with joy and excitement from its fans.
Everyone was so excited to see the pandas once again that the feed reportedly went dark less than five minutes after it was turned back on. The Panda Cam resumed once again but within 10 minutes, the cameras became overwhelmed by the amount of internet traffic and viewers were being denied access to the feed.
The waiting list to see the Panda Cam only grew longer as the day progressed, as viewers fought for one of 850 viewing slots. At its height, more than 400 people were waiting to see the pandas for just 15 minutes.
And then social media went panda crazy. E! Online tweeted their thrill at the triumphant return of the Panda Cam, summing up how a lot of the fans of the cam felt.
— E! Online (@eonline) October 17, 2013
Even singer Josh Groban got in on the Panda Cam love and excitement.
Day off AND the government is open again? Coffee. Panda cam. Repeat.
— josh groban (@joshgroban) October 17, 2013
Others seemed less enthused by the return of the Panda Cam, saying that it was not the most important aspect of the government’s reopening, but that did not seem to dampen anyone’s spirits or panda joy.
The National Zoo will reopen on Friday.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.