While the partial U.S. government shutdown has many people up in arms about some of the strange closures at home and abroad, one of the most unusual is the “panda cam” that went dark at the National Zoo in Washington, notes Grumpy Editor.
Federal resources, including funds, are not an issue in showing the giant pandas on camera.
Thousands of viewers check in daily to see female panda Mei Xiang, her six-week-old cub and companion Tian Tian.
National Zoo's panda cams are sponsored by the Ford Motor Co. fund, part of a two-year, $400,000 grant to study giant panda health and the majority of the grant covers research into disease transmission, points out Danielle Elliot at CBS News.
And zoo staff doesn’t figure into the panda’s cam transmissions because volunteers operate the cameras.
As part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo is a 163-acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek National Park in the heart of Washington.
With the shutdown, the zoo and the rest of the Smithsonian museums are closed to the public along with all vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle paths into the area.
For panda cam watchers, an alternative: Try the panda cam here to see Ya Ya and Le Le at the Memphis Zoo.
Senator cites shutdown for scrapping media call
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, cited the federal shutdown as the reason to eliminate his weekly press call with Iowa reporters, finds Grumpy Editor.
“Due to the funding lapse, Senator Harkin’s offices are now closed. Therefore, he will not host an Iowa media call this week. The call will resume when the lapse has ended,” Kate Cyrul Frischmann, Harkin’s communications director in Washington, advised Iowa reporters via email.
However, the Des Moines Register reported the federal shutdown didn’t stop U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, from briefing Iowa reporters on his usual Wednesday conference call.
Braley, active with other House members while the Senate was mostly silent, is running for the Senate next year, seeking to replace Harkin, who is retiring.
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