The birth of twin pandas at the National Zoo this past weekend yielded an 849 percent increase in giant panda cam viewership over the previous weekend, with 868,000 people visiting the zoo’s panda cam Web page between Saturday and Monday.
The National Zoo’s giant panda cam allows the most enthusiastic of panda enthusiasts to monitor mother Mei Xiang and her newborn cubs 24/7. Mei Xiang gave birth to two tiny giant panda cubs Saturday, several hours apart.
The panda cam maxed out its bandwidth over the weekend, which the National Zoo expected, according to zoo spokeswoman Annalisa Meyer.
By comparison, between Aug. 15 and Aug 17, 91,594 people visited the panda cam Web page. Bao Bao, the now third-most famous panda cub in the District, who just celebrated her second birthday, similarly attracted high viewership when she was born. Between Aug. 23, 2013 — the day Bao Bao was born — and Sept. 16, 2013, the zoo’s Web site had more than 1.2 million visits to the panda cam.
Meyer said that zoo staff also use the panda cam to monitor Mei Xiang and the newborn cubs.