'My daughter’s fascination with nature has been reinforced,' wrote her father.
A 4-year-old girl named her new pet, a stick insect, Sir David Stickenborough. She then wrote a letter to her pet's namesake, veteran environmentalist Sir David Attenborough. Being an educator through and through, Sir David took the time to share some of his knowledge with the girl in a heartwarming reply to the letter she sent him.
Her father, Darren Logan, shared the story on Twitter on Saturday, posting a photo of Sir David Stickenborough resting on his daughter's hand alongside the signed reply from the 96-year-old conservationist. He wrote, "My daughter named her new pet, Sir David Stickenborough, after her hero. She wrote to tell him this. Obviously, he responded. Sir David is getting renamed, apparently, but my daughter’s fascination with nature has been reinforced."
My daughter named her new pet, Sir David Stickenborough, after her hero. She wrote to tell him this. Obviously he responded. Sir David is getting renamed, apparently, but my daughter’s fascination with nature has been reinforced. #NationalTreasure pic.twitter.com/cwGUV4YuhB— Darren Logan (@darrenlogan) September 10, 2022
Sir David replied to the young fan complimenting her for her enthusiasm and sharing some knowledge and personal insights about the species of insects in the image he received. He wrote, "Thank you for your letter. I am so glad you are interested in stick insects. I am too and, when I was your age I also kept some. They are indeed fascinating. There are at least two thousand five hundred different species world-wide. Most come from the tropics and only a few species ever reach this country."
It was his voice in my head as I read it, and I still picture him hanging in the crater of an active volcano or something while he speaks. "And even here, there is life." The insect Sir David is also very cool, and I assume will be well and scientifically fed.— Daniel Charles (@Livingjetlag) September 10, 2022
Sharing that the stick insects belong to a group called Phasmatoidea, he elaborated that there are two types in the group—the leaf and the stick insects. He wrote, "Stick insects really do look exactly like thin green sticks and are almost impossible to spot in the wild- unless they move. They don't, in fact, move much during the day but quite a lot during the night. The kind that is usually brought over here is nearly female and lay eggs that are fertile without having being fertilised by the male. The eggs look exactly like their droppings and sometimes people who keep them don't know this and throw them away when they are cleaning out their cages."
This is amazing!😍My son at age 7 read about a T. rex excavation, suddenly loved process more than dinos. We looked up author, found email. Son wrote Jack Horner (world's most famous paleontologist) who immediately wrote back. Stayed in touch. Guess who's a paleontologist now?— artist mother (@welycha) September 11, 2022
Sir David, known best for his association with BBC Natural History, also clarified that the child's pet is not a stick insect, but a leaf insect. He wrote, "The one of which you sent me a photograph, however is not, however a stick insect. It's a leaf insect. There are many many different species of these as well, They vary in the food they prefer and many eat other kinds of leaves than the hawthorn and bramble which you say yours prefer. Many of them are even more like leaves than yours are, with outgrowths on their legs that look exactly like leaves." He then signed off the letter with his name.
The sons of my friends put a letter and some drawings on the stage at a presentation he was giving many years ago. They saw a lackey take it away, assumed it wouldn't make it to DA. Few days later they received a beautiful letter from him discussing the animals they'd drawn.— Camille G (@Cami181) September 11, 2022
The tweet has been garnering a lot of attention on social media, with more than 88,000 likes and almost a thousand comments. A user tweeted, "That is so cool! What's even cooler is your daughter took the time to write him, and he sent an actual letter back, that's so rare these days. The world needs more women and girls in the STEM field, and I hope she keeps her passion for nature and all things big and small."
Sir David has been very open to accepting letters from fans. In an interview with Greg James, Sir David reportedly shared that he gets about 70 letters from fans every day and he tries to get back to almost everyone he can. He even encourages people to write to him, with a return address. “If you wouldn’t mind including a self-addressed stamped envelope I’d be delighted to reply,” he added, per HuffPost.