The leopard was named in a public contest organised by Primorye Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky. The Primorye administration received more than a hundred name suggestions, out of which the jury selected 10. The name “Dersu” won in an online vote that followed. The leopard was named for Dersu Uzala, the famous Ussuri hunter and legendary guide to Russian Far Eastern explorer Vladimir Arsenyev.
Dersu loves posing for photos. He first appeared before cameras in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2013, when he was caught on camera 23 times.