Australia's science agency has promised to step up its dragon research program, after a seven-year-old girl wrote asking them to make her a dragon.
Sophie Lester, from Queensland, sent a letter to Commonwealth Scientific and industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency, on Monday to ask for a female, toothless dragon.
"Would it be possible if you can make a dragon for me. I would like it if you could but if you can't that's fine," Sophie wrote.
Sophie explained in her letter that she would play with it every weekend.
"I would keep it in my special green grass area where there are lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it. If it got hurt I would bandage it if it hurt himself," she wrote.
Sophie's mother Melissah Lester said her daughter had been begging them to get her a baby dragon for Christmas.
"Her dad sat her down and said we couldn't get her one. But he suggested why don't we write and see if someone can get you one? And she said, 'What about a scientist?'"
Lester said she had hoped they'd write back and say it can't be done, but the CSIRO had another idea.
In a tongue-in-cheek statement released on Monday, the CSIRO apologised to the nation for their lack of a dragon research program.
"Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs... our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety," CSIRO said in a statement.
"And for this Australia, we are sorry."
Australia's primary research body said there could be many practical uses for dragons.
"...How much energy could [a dragon] produce? Would dragon fuel be a low emissions option?" they wrote.
Lester said Sophie was overjoyed with the CSIRO's response and has been telling everyone dragon breath can be a new fuel.
"All her friends are now saying they want to be a scientist and Sophie says she now wants to work in the CSIRO. She's saying Australian scientists can do anything," she said.
She said Sophie had been fascinated by dragons for a long time.
"This morning when the film crew left, Sophie said 'I forgot to tell them they can come back when we have a dragon'," she said. "I told her they can't do it now, it might be very long time but they're looking into it."
- Canberra Times