Hours before the government shutdown, when word got out that the Smithsonian National Zoo would be switching off its panda cam, blacking out the 24/7 live feed of new mom Mei Xiang and her 5-week-old cub, parts of the Internet had a meltdown.
"Nooo!!! I need my panda fix!!!!" a commenter on the National Zoo's Facebook page wrote. "That little panda cub is only a baby once," wrote another, echoing a volley of Facebook messages and tweets from panda watchers across the globe.
But really, it's not so bad. For the non-panda cam inclined, there are scores of options: The naked mole rat cam at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle? Rolling! The privately funded bald eagle cam in central Minnesota? Open for business! How about some hippos at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio?
For those who must watch a panda-a-day, all is not lost either. The San Diego Zoo panda cam is up, as is the one at the Atlanta Zoo, and in a few hours, when day breaks at the Chengdu Research Base Of Giant Panda Breeding in China, things will get a bit livelier.
In the meanwhile, here are a few other critters you can watch on live camera:
- Condors at the San Diego Zoo
- Koalas at the San Diego Zoo
- Lorikeets at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio
- Grizzly bears at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle
- Blacktip reef sharks at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md
- Penguins at SeaWorld in San Diego
- Sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California
- Octopuses at the Hatfield Marine Science center in Oregon