Bye-Bye Bei Bei: National Zoo's Panda Cam Goes Dark Amid Government Shutdown

However, the Smithsonian National Zoo said the animals continue to be fed and cared for during the shutdown

The Smithsonian National Zoo's beloved live panda camera was turned off on Wednesday amid the ongoing partial government shutdown, NBC News reported

The National Zoo stayed open during the first 11 days of the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, by tapping into unused dollars from the previous year, but closed its doors to the public on Tuesday night. The camera was shut down by Wednesday morning. 

The funding feud leaves giant panda bears Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei — whose days spent tumbling in their enclosure and chomping on bamboo have been broadcast to tens of thousands of fans 24/7 for years — without an audience.

"The Smithsonian's National Zoo is closed due to a federal government shutdown. The Zoo's live animal cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast. They are deemed non-essential and will not stream live until the federal government reopens," the zoo wrote online. "All the animals continue to be fed and cared for."

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