Shutdown, Day 2: Fiscal Constraints Impact National Zoo

2 October, 2013 | | No Comment

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. – Mark Twain

02 October 2013, Washington D.C.: As the US Federal Government continues to bicker about the budget, twerking, Obamacare, and whether Miley Cyrus would make a better ambassador to North Korea than Dennis Rodman, the National Zoo finds itself in the cross-hairs of history, caught in a landslide of media attention and budgetary brouhaha.

“The biggest issue with giving 800,000 Federal workers a few days out of the office is that they’ve suddenly got ALL DAMN DAY to watch the Panda Cam, instead of the usual 3-4 hours they waste on it,” said Zoo Ranger and spokesperson Griffin Waccatee, speaking on condition of anonymity since she was furloughed as well. “We had to turn it off before it melted – it wasn’t built for that kind of load.”

Another issue Waccatee noted was the crushing fiscal burden of continuing to feed the animals through the shutdown, despite having no budget. “We’re really doing triage here,” she said, “just trying to figure out how to feed more than two thousand critters, large and small.” The small ones, of course, are less of a problem – Waccatee said that the slender-tailed meerkats, for example, will eat pretty much anything. “We’ve just been bringing in our compost from home. Those bastards don’t care.”

The elephants, of course, are another story. “We’ve started giving them massive doses of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is cheaper than all those vegetables anyway,” said Elle Fantus, who works with the over-sized proboscideans when their non-essential handlers aren’t available. “They’re basically a bunch of walking piano keys that eat,” she said, “and I don’t play piano.” Fantus reports that the ivory-tusked mastodon-wannabes have lost a few pounds, but seem a little more irritable than usual. “It certainly keeps the costs of their food down, and I wasn’t enjoying that diet anyhow.”

When asked about the big cats, Zoo Ranger Waccatee sported a small, sly smile. “Like I said earlier, triage. Ninety-eight percent of Americans don’t know what the fuck a Tapir is, anyway – and the lions needed some exercise. Problem solved.”

If the shutdown continues more than a few days, Waccatee said that they would expect to just open a few more doors and let the various species forage the grounds for themselves. “Hey, there are clearly a bunch of dumb animals grubbing around Congress,” she said. “Why shouldn’t we let our animals have some fun? It’s not like they’re paying us over here.”

The Panda Cam is expected to remain off for the duration, despite the howling protests of the entire Internet.

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