This adorable baby giraffe, Pammy J, nicknamed P.J., was born Monday afternoon at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Mo.
The zoo’s PR Director, Melinda Arnold, captured P.J.’s very first steps Monday on her iPhone.
“First steps are one of those milestones that we watch for. Once the calf has hit the ground, the keepers are very eager to see it move and attempt to stand up and finally stand up. Once it’s on its feet, the next step is to start nursing. Once it’s up and nursing, then you can breathe a sigh of relief,” Arnold told ABC News.
P.J.’s 19-year-old mother, Cheka, is also seen in the video helping her newborn along with a gentle nudge. Baby P.J. is Cheka’s ninth calf.
Cheka gave birth to Pammy J in the zoo’s exhibit yard, while zoo guests and staff observed. The baby calf wasn’t given a name until Wednesday afternoon after the zoo’s veterinarian confirmed the newborn giraffe was indeed female. Zookeepers have estimated P.J. stands approximately six and a half feet tall.
Many names had been suggested for the newborn on the zoo’s Facebook page, but the zoo decided to give one of the zookeepers the honor of having the final say on choosing the name. But not to be discouraged, the public will soon have an opportunity (or three) to participate in naming a giraffe calf.
Apparently Cheka is the first of four pregnant giraffes to give birth at the zoo. The next three are expected to arrive between October and the end of January.