WASHINGTON – Panda fans worldwide are having withdrawals because the National Zoo’s popular panda cams are down.
Viewers were watching Mei Xiang cuddle her newborn cub Monday morning when the cameras suddenly went dark.
It’s all part of the government shutdown.
"The cams (incl. the panda cams) require federal resources, especially staff, to run. They have not been deemed essential during a #shutdown," the National Zoo tweeted Monday afternoon.
Tens of thousands of panda fans count on the cams for their daily fix of warm and fuzzy.
"A world without the panda cam is a world without happiness," Caitlin Bauer posted on Facebook.
"Congress, get your act together. For the love of the baby panda," pleaded Lauren Jenkins.
The National Zoo’s panda cams are funded by the Ford Motor Company but the zoo said they’re operating by volunteers.
Animal caretakers and security guards were deemed essential staff so care of the pandas and other critters continues as usual.