Bye, Bye Pandas? This Government Shutdown Just Got Real. As in, really bad for the entire Smithsonian Institution, which is hitting its peak visitor season. Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe reports if a budget deal is not reached by Friday, around 500,000 visitors could be turned away this Saturday from the federally funded National Zoo and major Smithsonian museums on the Mall. Sad for tourists, but maybe not so bad for the animals. This could be their only shot at a paid vacation (free food and an empty zoo).