Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s newest giraffe calf now has a name.
On Wednesday morning, exactly a month since her birth on Sept. 28 and per zoo tradition, the zoo announced live on its Facebook page the female calf has been named BB, an abbreviation of “Bailey’s Baby.”
“Keepers started calling the calf ‘BB’ as an abbreviation for ‘Bailey’s Baby’ a while ago, and it just sort of stuck,” the zoo said in its Facebook post. “Later, we saw a few social media fans referring to the baby this way and got a real kick out of that coincidence!”
Visitors gathered around the giraffe yard in the zoo’s African Rift Valley exhibit Thursday morning hoping to catch a peek at the calf. And they were in luck, as BB joined most of the herd and stood calmly by as other giraffes munched on their breakfast of browse (vegetation) and slurped up bits of lettuce from visitors.
“She’s been really confident and very independent of mom,” said Jenny Koch, the zoo’s marketing director. “All the other giraffes seem to really like her.”
In particular, the zoo’s younger giraffes Ohe, Viv and Panya — ranging in age from 2 to 3 years old — “have really been having fun with her,” Koch said.
The calf is also curious, Koch said, using her mouth to taste and nibble on browse even though she will continue nursing from mom Bailey, 8, for about a year.
Zoo officials said Bailey is doing a good job of caring for the calf.
BB was born Sept. 28, weighing 116 pounds and standing about 5 ½ feet tall. She was one of the smallest giraffes zoo staff had ever seen, as newborn calves are typically 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh 150 to 200 pounds.
“Bailey is small for a giraffe, too, so that’s not surprising,” zoo giraffe animal care manager Jason Bredahl said after BB’s birth. “She’s super adorable.”
After she was born, BB had a hard time standing at first, caretakers said. She was in a corner and couldn’t stand because she was bumping into walls. But she took her first steps that afternoon after “a nudge from mom,” a news release from the zoo reported.
On Thursday, visitors oohed and aahed at BB as she stood in the yard.
The calf captured the hearts of the Van Gestel family, who were visiting the zoo for the first time from Riverside, Calif.
“She’s so cute,” 12-year-old Brianna Van Gestel said.
Fans on social media echoed that sentiment when the zoo announced BB’s name.
“Bailey is so gorgeous. BB is a perfect name,” wrote Brooke Russo on the zoo’s Facebook post Wednesday.
“A very special BBaby,” wrote Patty Reed.
BB is the herd’s 17th giraffe, the first born to Bailey and the sixth to be sired by dad Khalid. Since the zoo’s breeding program began in 1954, the zoo has welcomed more than 200 calves.