Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons

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That is, for swamp dragons, which are almost permanently sick because they can rearrange their "internal plumbing" to adjust their digestion as appropriate for whatever food they are eating (and they eat almost anything that's combustible). It's just too difficult a biological process, and no matter how they try to adjust, the dragons find themselves ill. The Sunshine Sanctuary was established by the famous swamp dragon breeder, Lady Sybil Ramkin in Ankh-Morpork. The Sanctuary is run by Rosie Devant-Molei with a volunteer staff of upper-class young ladies (Samuel Vimes calls them interchangeable Emmas) who are interested in swamp dragons. The Sanctuary also buys dragons from owners considered to be mistreating the dragons, and takes in former pet dragons that are now abandoned. They end up in pens in the Sanctuary, where the staff try to give the dragons dietary supplements to bring their digestion to a safer level. This does not always work, so dragons occasionally explode. The Sanctuary is built with thick walls and very light roof, a peculiarity usually found in firework factories.

The Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons plays an important role in:

and has made appearances in other books of the Watch Series. It has also appeared in The Last Hero, where some dragons were "borrowed" from the sanctuary to power a space-flight contraption. Lord Vetinari warned the passengers that if the dragons were not returned safely, then "he would be in serious trouble" [from the Sanctuary]. This suggests that the wrath of the "Ladies Who Organise" can daunt even the Patrician. The dragons' fates were not reported.


The Darwin Awards, that worthy organisation dedicated to finding and recording egregious acts of human stupidity, records the case of a group of hapless burglars in England who tried to rob a fireworks factory. By cutting through a metal security door with a blowtorch. The resultant devastating explosion proved fireworks factories really are built that way, as the building's structural walls were wholly unscathed. But the entire roof was blown off and landed in more or less one piece fifty yards away from the building. All the blast damage was contained within the building and no neighbouring premises were affected, despite the violence of the blast. (Source: The Darwin Awards 4: Intelligent Design, Orion books 2006, p204.)