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Giant panda Update Sep 30, 2013

On Saturday, Mei came out of her den in the morning looking for food as soon as keepers arrived. That's the first time she's done that since the cub was born, which tells keepers that her appetite is returning to normal. Lately, she's been waiting until they place bamboo in her enclosure before she comes out. On Sunday she left the den for more than 30 minutes.

Regarding the panda cam: If the federal government shuts down October 1, the Smithsonian's National Zoo will be closed to the public. In addition to all events being canceled and all gates into the Zoo being closed, none of our live animal cams—including the panda cam—will be broadcast. The cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast, and they were deemed not essential in the case of a shutdown.

All the animals will continue to be fed and cared for. A shutdown will not affect our commitment to the safety of our staff and standard of excellence in animal care.

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