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National Zoo reopens to visitors after shutdown

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October 18, 2013 10:45 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON (AP) — A day after most furloughed federal employees went back to work, the Smithsonian's National Zoo is open to visitors again.

The zoo opened its gates Friday morning. Zoo director Dennis Kelly greeted visitors at the main gate. The zoo was closed for nearly 3 weeks because of the government shutdown.

The zoo's popular panda cam went back online Thursday. While giant panda Mei Xiang (may SHONG) and her unnamed, 8-week-old female cub are still not on public display, zoo visitors can see the cub's father, Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

The cub's eyes have opened, and she can scoot around on her front legs.

The zoo is offering a 10 percent discount on food and merchandise through Sunday.