National Zoo panda cam online, zoo reopens Friday

Associated Press
This photo provided by the Smithsonian's National Zoo shows Mei Xiang's giant panda cub undergoing an exam on Oct. 11, 2013, at the zoo in Washington. The zoo was set to reopen on Friday, though the popular panda cam went live on Thursday morning, Oct. 17. By Oct, 11 exam, the cub had both her eyes partially open and she now is reacting to the noises she hears in the panda house. (AP Photo/Smithsonian National Zoo, Bill Clements)
.

View photo

This photo provided by the Smithsonian's National Zoo shows Mei Xiang's giant panda cub undergoing an exam on Oct. 11, 2013, at the zoo in Washington. The zoo was set to reopen on Friday, though the popular panda cam went live on Thursday morning, Oct. 17. By Oct, 11 exam, the cub had both her eyes partially open and she now is reacting to the noises she hears in the panda house. (AP Photo/Smithsonian National Zoo, Bill Clements)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian's National Zoo's panda cam is back online, but the zoo itself is taking more time to reopen after the government shutdown.

The webcam went live Thursday morning, giving fans a view of the larger cub wriggling about as mom Mei Xiang tucked her paws under her chin and watched.

Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson says the cam reached capacity — 850 connections at once — within 10 minutes. Viewers are limited to 15 minutes before they must refresh.

The zoo will reopen to the public Friday. Baker-Masson says staff members need time to check all the buildings and grounds. The zoo is working to restore staffers' regular schedules.

The zoo will welcome visitors back with discounts and free carousel rides for visitors under 18 through Sunday.

View Comments (1)