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Smithsonian National Zoo re-opens after government shutdown

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    Digital writers

    Friday, October 18, 2013, 4:59 PM -

    The National Washington Zoo is officially back in business, following a 17-day shut down of the U.S. government.

    On Friday, scores of people turned out for the re-opening. To celebrate, the zoo is offering free carousel rides and discounts on food and merchandise through the weekend.

    Another bonus?

    Friday also marked the return of the zoo's beloved "panda cam."

    Now, fans can get back to keeping an eye on the 8-week old panda, who officials say gained about two pounds while the zoo was closed down.

    Check out this adorable video of the bouncing baby: 

    Panda image courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo Facebook page.

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