Cheetah cub named after woman's son killed in car crash

Cheetah cub named after woman's son killed in car crash »Play Video
Dapper and Donovan

WINSTON, Ore. - Carley Redheart lost her son Donovan in a fatal car crash last year.

In honor of her son, Carley nominated "Donovan" as the name for one of the two cheetah cubs born this year at Wildlife Safari.

"Somebody said something about entering the cub drawing to name the cubs, and so we all did it," she said. "I couldn't think of anything to put except my son's name, so I did."

The pair of cubs was one of only three born in the US in 2013.

The Safari wanted the community involved in the naming them.

"We came up with the idea that we'd let both visitors to the park and visitors to the mall have an opportunity to put in a suggestion for a name," said marketing director Tena Lammers.

With over 1,000 names submitted, Safari staff randomly picked the winners.

"We pulled out two names, and they were Donovan and Dapper, and it's just perfect," said Lammers.

Dapper, the name submitted by Jodi Ellingson, means "Brave One."

Donovan means "Young Prince/Warrior."

"They're just perfect little names," Lammers with the Safari said. "They sound like they should be going together."

Redheart met the cub Donovan for the first time during a private tour.

"It was thrilling and comforting," she said. "He reminds me of my son."