Latest News« Back to News
Sir David Attenborough pens magical reply to pupil’s letterSeptember 25th, 2015
Broadcasting legend Sir David Attenborough has surprised a schoolboy fan by penning a very personal response to a letter he wrote him.
Toby, a Year 7 pupil at Monmouth School, sent an inquisitive note to the beloved documentary maker, asking him about his favourite creatures to film.
And just six days after it was posted, Sir Attenborough’s carefully crafted response landed on the School’s doorstep.
Toby, 11, sent the letter as part of a class assignment the boys were set by biology teacher Lizzie Davies to write to their favourite scientists.
“It’s very nice Sir Attenborough took the time to reply,” said Toby, from Ross-on-Wye.
“I asked him what his favourite animal was, which animal he would bring back from extinction and what is the strangest looking animal he’s ever seen.
“He said the strangest animal he knows is the aye-aye, which is my dad’s favourite.
“I was surprised he replied because I never heard back from the last letter I sent to an actor.
“He’s my favourite biologist and zoologist – he’s good at acting and staying safe when he’s making the documentaries.”
Toby, who is a keen member of Monmouth School’s Science Club, says he will treasure the letter and plans to frame it for his bedroom wall.
He added: “I look up to David Attenborough because he doesn’t get too close to the animals and never harms their habitats by destroying their nests – he’s always very respectful.
“I would like to do that sort of job, as long as I didn’t have to remember a script.
“My favourite animal is a snow leopard because they are rather endangered so I feel sad for them, and they are really cute.
“People kill them to use their bones for medicine and their fur for coats – I’d like to raise awareness and stop that from happening. I would film them a lot if I could.”
Sir Attenborough, who is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series, is one of the UK’s most celebrated national treasures.
The 89-year-old told Toby that he does not have one single favourite animal, as “there are too many wonderful creatures to pick just one”.
He wrote: “If I were forced to select something today, I would select the Weedy Sea Dragon.
“Tomorrow it would be something else.”
His charming letter continued: “Most extinct animals, if brought back to life, would find a world so altered that it would be very difficult to survive in it.
“One that might have less of a problem than most would be the first animal that human beings exterminated in historic times – the dodo. But if I were picking something simply to watch and try and understand how it lived, it would be the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.”
Sir Attenborough also told Toby his favourite place in the world, other than home, is the Daintree Forest in northern Queensland, “where there is a rich and unique rainforest full of wonderful creatures alongside another great wonder, the Great Barrier Reef.”
Toby’s biology teacher Miss Davies said: “It took just six days for Sir Attenborough’s reply to arrive.
“I hoped he would reply, but I thought Toby would only receive a signed photograph.
“The fact he took the time to respond personally to each of his questions is just amazing.”