"All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed today due to the government shutdown," said the sign on the zoo’s gates on Tuesday.
Photo: Voice of Russia
Chase, who is 1 year old, was quite disappointed. He had been looking forward to an outing to The National Zoo, according to his au pair, Sophia Martuzzi, but they were going to have to go to a nearby playground instead.
She said neither she nor her host, who lived just a few blocks away, were aware that the government had shut down or that it would affect the zoo.
Photo: Voice of Russia
Tourists are frustrated too. Two more people who came to see the pandas were two tourists from Moscow. In town for just a couple of days before flying back to Russia, they hadn't heard anything about the closure and were shocked to hear that the US government had shut down.
A few locals stopped by the zoo on Tuesday, some pausing to take a photo of the closure sign. One woman who strolled by briefly on her morning walk clucked disapproval and rolled her eyes when she saw the sign.
The zoo itself is quite a sad sight. You can have a look thanks to VoR’s correspondent:
Although the zoo is closed, the animals will be fine; the workers who care for them are still on the job. The animal cams, however, are not operating.
Ripple effects from shutdown of the US government are being seen across the country, including at the Smithsonian Nation Zoo in Washington DC, which was shuttered Tuesday, along with its popular panda cam program. (PHOTO, VIDEO)
The panda cam has been a great pick-me-up at any time, but especially so now that mama panda Mei Xiang has a cute little cub on display. The baby was born on August 23.
Cam-watchers have seen it grow from a nearly hairless little stub of a cutebug into a pint-sized critter with all the right panda markings.
The shutdown is coming down hard on agencies like NASA. You can't even visit the NASA Web site. But the loss of the panda cam is putting a real damper on morale for those of us who count on the cute.
The panda cam isn't the only casualty of the shutdown. The otter cam, cheetah cam, octopus cam, tiger cub cam and naked mole-rat cam have also gone dark.
Tourists in the nation's capital expressed their frustration and dismay that what President Barack Obama called a right-wing "ideological crusade" to defund his health care plan has affected something as unrelated as a day at the zoo.
The zoo is closed to visitors, but the animals inside will still receive care from zoo staff. Security will remain on-hand throughout the shutdown as well.
Voice of Russia, CNN, Nature World News, The Huffington Post