No Panda Cam After Tonight? (Updated With PonchoCam!)

“With the recent warning that the Smithsonian Panda Cam at the National Zoo might stop in the event of a looming U.S. government shutdown tonight, my 24-pound cat Poncho and I were getting our final fix…maybe I can offer a substitute “PonchoCam” until Congress lets us see Mei Xiang and the baby again?” -Cuteporter Donna R.



And we’ve got ourselves a PonchoCam!

Live streaming video by Ustream



  1. fleurdamour says:


  2. Noooooo, not Mei’s panda cam!!

    I checked in on them just now. They were sleepingks, cutely. [sing song]

  3. I love you Poncho!!

  4. fleurdamour says:

    More on the panda blackout – yet another reason to hate Congress:

  5. mtchings! Need i say more. Perhaps we can set up a poncho cam for the interim.

  6. 4leafclover says:

    Yes! Poncho would make an excellent substitute panda… 🙂

  7. Working on a PonchoCam to go up if/when Smithsonian goes down in a shutdown… should be up before noon eastern…

  8. Omg baby panda hiccups have to be the best thing ever. Also on another note remember when the only computer work distractions were solitary and mine sweeper.

  9. whawhawhatsis says:

    The panda cam closing down makes me wonder about whether the zookeepers at the National Zoo are considered “essential employees” who won’t get furloughed. Unfortunately, my husband, who works elsewhere for the gummint, isn’t one, but I sure hope the zookeepers are, or at least enough of them to keep the animals safe and healthy!

  10. I was wondering the same thing. I would think the people who actually take care of the animals wouldn’t be furloughed, though other zoo employees presumably will.

  11. OK, from the HuffPo article posted above (quote from the zoo press release):

    “If the federal government shuts down on October 1, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will be closed to the public. All programming and events will be canceled. All vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle paths into the Zoo will be closed. None of our live animal cams will broadcast.

    “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.”

    I feel better now.

  12. whawhawhatsis says:

    Whew! Thanks for the update, allein. I couldn’t imagine they’d do anything else!

  13. Be calm. Snorgle that furry belly. We’ll get through this together.

  14. doomchild says:

    ATM panda cam’s are up and working. The camera 2 is showing a sleeping fuzzball of a panda. All’s well at the Smithsonian!

  15. Stoopid gummint. 😦

    I would looove a Poncho cam. He is so beautiful.

  16. Ponchocam is live at

  17. dolphin815 says:

    Yeah, when our state government shut down back in 2011 we made special allowances for “essential” personnel like fire and police departments, educators and a skeleton crew to make sure zoo animals were taken care of and state parks weren’t vandalized. Even if Congress isn’t aware of all of the consequences of a shutdown, nobody would actually be prevented from caring for the animals.

  18. Yay check out the poncho CAM! I have already been and there is ample belly floof … seriously!

  19. Good 😀 I want to see dear sweet Poncho enjoying his loving forever home 😀

  20. Sorry had to take Poncho Cam down till Monday afternoon – couldn’t put task that on the catsitter, as great as she is… but he is definitely one happy purrry loving dude. 🙂