The Panda Cam Is Back, And Happiness Returns To The Universe

It's a beautiful day in Washington.

The government shutdown is over, and the National Zoo has turned back on its 24/7 livestream of giant panda Mei Xiang and her almost two-month-old baby girl.

Apparently, HuffPost isn't the only one who was missing this pair. It's been nearly impossible to get onto the panda cam since it was called back into action Thursday morning -- when we did catch a few minutes of Mei and cub, they were snuggled up together, sleeping. (Apparently they didn't get the news that the furlough is over.)

panda cam

Until you can get onto the actual panda cam, enjoy this amazing video of our squawking girl getting a checkup:

There's also this Substitute Panda Cam Tumblr. And these other animal livestreams. Those will keep you going until Friday, when the National Zoo itself reopens to the public and there's a whole new adorable distraction, at least for those in the D.C. area.

Mei, meantime, is eating 60 percent of the bamboo being given to her, and all of the "leaf-eater biscuits" and produce provided by keepers, according to the zoo. She's also leaving her baby for short periods to participate in training sessions and to go outside.

The zoo said in a press release that the cub is now five pounds -- she was just 3.07 pounds at the end of September when the zoo gave its last update -- and that her eyes are now partially opened. Her ears are fully opened, the zoo said, and she's reacting to noises around her.

She's also getting stronger, but won't be able to walk until she's four months old. Which is, of course, just a little before the budget deal worked out on Wednesday night is set to expire.

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