The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, like all Smithsonian museums, receives federal funding. Thus, during a government shutdown, the Zoo—and the rest of the Smithsonian museums—must close to the public.
Government Shutdown FAQs
How much funding does the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute receive from the federal government?
None of the Zoo's live animal cams will broadcast if the Zoo closes for a government shutdown. The cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast. They are deemed non-essential.