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10/18/2013 02:15 pm ET

The National Zoo Becomes The Happiest Spot In Washington As It Reopens After The Government Shutdown

In a city bruised by the fierce partisan battles of the last few weeks, happiness abounded Friday as the Smithsonian National Zoo in Northwest Washington, D.C., opened its doors for the first time since Sept. 30. The zoo, of course, was the site of what was by far the saddest photo of the 16-day government shutdown.

But there was no sadness today -- in fact, the mood was anything but:

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Here's Tucker Purington, 3, of Ithaca, N.Y., and his six-year-old sister Kylah. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

national zoo reopens
National Zoo Director Dennis Kelly gets some help as he reopens the gate. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

national zoo
High five! (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

national zoo
Megan Mahoney of Scottsdale, Ariz., smiles as she watches Tian Tian the panda. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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