The shutdown is over, the darkness has lifted and the National Zoo's pandas, we're all relieved to find out, are right where we left them.
The zoo is warning the deluge of panda-gazers that competition to load the streaming service might be fierce, as the servers can only handle so much panda love at once. Anyone who makes it through will have 15 minutes to enjoy the scene before they'll be forced to refresh their browsers.
That last bit of patience required to see the pandas again may be difficult to handle...
If you're having trouble getting through, The National Zoo posted some adorable baby photos to Flickr. They also have updates on important moments we missed in the life of the zoo's newborn panda cub:
With the return of the cams, giant panda fans can once again watch the Zoo’s eight week-old cub and her mother Mei Xiang. Since the panda cams went dark the cub has grown and passed several developmental milestones. She weighs five pounds (2.557 kilograms), up from 3.07 pounds (1.39 kilograms) at her veterinary exam September 26. She also has partially opened her eyes. Keepers noticed that her right eye had started to open October 4. By October 11, both her eyes had partially opened. Her ears are also fully open and she now reacts to the noises she hears in the panda house.
Mei Xiang is leaving the cub for longer periods of time to eat, drink, interact with keepers and venture outside for very short periods of time. She is eating all of her leaf eater biscuits and produce that keepers offer her every day, and approximately 60 percent of her bamboo. Saturday, October 12 she chose to participate in a training session with keepers for the first time since early August. During the session keepers were able to collect a blood sample and a small milk sample.
The pandas, along with the rest of the zoo, will welcome in-person visits beginning Friday. And if anyone cares (but nobody does, right?) Octopus Cam should be back today, too, along with Tiger Cam, Lion Cam and Orangutan Cam.