Real Life

8-year-old girl writes adorable letter to university professor full of amazing animal questions

This is SO CUTE

An eight-year-old girl has written the most incredible and thought-provoking letter to a university lecturer.

Aisha Ahmed, from Sheffield, wrote the letter to Professor Tim Birkhead at the University of Sheffield and asked him some very interesting questions all about animals.

Aisha's letter read: "Dear Professor Birkhead, my name is Aisha. I'm 8 years old.

"I love owls they are so cute! I'm writing to ask you some information about animals. I'm competing in a competition called brainbox and I'm answering questions about animals so I need some information.

"I know the biggest cat is a tiger. What do reindeer eat? A stingray has a smiley face under his body. Is it true that an owl can turn his head round and round? Chameleons camouflage so it's predator does not eat it. Do sharks eat angelfish? How fast do owls fly?

"Thank you for reading my letter and giving me information. I am looking forward to winning the brainbox with your help. I hope your 2017 goes well and you become an expert on animals. Your sincerely, Aisha."

However - Aisha forgot to include her address, so the animal expert had no way of responding to her questions.

Amazingly, thanks to the power of social media, she has been tracked down thanks to a Facebook post by BBC Radio Sheffield. Aisha even got to meet her hero live on air this morning.

Professor Birkhead's colleague Dr. Nicola Hemmings kick-started the campaign by tweeting a photo of the letter on Tuesday, and it has since had nearly 300 retweets.

Thankfully, she has now been found - thanks to a Facebook post by the BBC Radio Sheffield.

Professor Birkhead, who has worked at the university for 41 years, met Aisha Ahmed this morning on Toby Foster's show on the Sheffield radio station so that she could have her questions answered live.

Aisha's teacher, Abbey Southall, from Owler Brook Primary School in Sheffield, saw the station's Facebook post and rang in the next day.

She said: "I was just so grateful that people wanted to help her to have a letter back, so grateful that people were so interested!"

The presenter then introduced the professor, who had called into the show. He said: "I thought this sounded like a budding zoologist, someone who was really interested in the natural world, so I was really keen to help!"

He then made Aisha an offer she couldn't refuse, and invited her to go and look round the university - and the university's own zoology museum, the Alfred Denny museum.

We're so pleased she's been found!

Professor Tim Birkhead has worked at the University of Sheffield for 41 years (Credit: Twitter/ Sheffield Alumni)

We spoke to Dr. Hemmings, who said: "I was struck by Aisha's boundless curiosity! She had such varied and unusual questions about animals and their behaviour. Since I study birds myself, I was particularly delighted by her love of owls. Her illustrations were fantastic, and I was very keen to help her win the Brainbox competition!"

Nicola, who has worked with Professor Birkhead for over 10 years, was aware of the power of social media: "I knew that if we had any chance of finding Aisha, Twitter and Facebook were the way to go. After I put the initial posts out on Twitter and Facebook, they spread like wildfire. We even had celebrities such as Brian Cox sharing them.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time we've had to go 'public' to find the author of a letter, but we were very keen to support Aisha in her aim to win the 'Brainbox' competition."

We are still in awe of the power of social media!

Are you kids interested in animals like Aisha? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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