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 Post subject: 3 old reports owed!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:53 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi to all!! It has been a long time since the last time that I had posted anything on the Travel Tales.

I actually owe you 3 reports :redface: and then Betelguese and myself will be in Kruger at the end of June – cant wait!!. :dance: So I have to hurry up with these reports....

The first report was for middle Nov 2007. We stayed at Pretoriuskop. My cousin went with me, just after his Matric exam. What a weekend!!!! :thumbs_up:

Friday 16 November 2007
We entered at Malelane gate(early) and turned towards Berg and Dal and the third animal we saw was this LIT!!

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We watched for over an hour!! :P The fourth animal was a white rhino and the fifth this male Lion. (I am sure it must be Lourens’s king of the jungle!) It was just outside Berg and Dal.
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Later we found ellies and after 2 hours in Kruger we saw 4 of the big 5!! The buffaloes were hiding!!
This Giraffe we saw at Matjulu waterhole.
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The afternoon we took a short drive to Numbi Gate and found a Sable Bull crossing the road in front of us! That is my favourite antelope!! Unfortunately no photos, the light was already bad and it moved quite fast.

We had to wait until the next day for the Buffs.

Saturday 17 November 2007

We saw mostly normal game, impis, zebra, kudu,etc. It was quite a quiet day cat wise until we arrived at Renosterkoppiesdam and found this 10 lions sleeping there
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We also saw this secretary bird and dwarf mongoose on the way back to camp.
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We came back early to go on a sunset drive. The weather did not play along for a good drive. The wind was blowing us away the whole drive!! And on the way back a thunderstorm started. We were soaking wet with raincoats on!! Needless to say, we did not see much on the drive!

But everything I think waited for Sunday!

TO BE CONTINUED…

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Sunday morning (last day of the first trip)

We left camp as the gates opened (H1-1).It was still drizzling from the previous night
It was still a bit dark.The first animal we saw that morning was buffalo in the rain. Then a lesser bushbaby.

We found 2 tortoises:
A baby leopard tortoise
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And then a hinge-back tortoise
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After that white rhino and then these 2 kudu bulls fighting. They meant business!! Wow! the sounds were like gun shots :shock:
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We decided to have coffee and rusks at Transport dam…
Nothing much happened at the dam. We watched birds, had breakfast and decided to leave……

Guess what walked down the road? :dance:

2 cheetah. They were on their way to the dam! They went into the bush but came back to the road and started stalking adult Kudu in front of my car!! (we were the only car around!) They chased but had no breakfast!! Then they went down to the dam. We watched them for over an hour!
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We found this famous hyena family at the junction of the S1 and H11.
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I decided to take the H1 -2 (Skukuza – Tshokwane).

I could not believe my luck. We found this male leopard crossing the road and cars in front and behind me (they were in sighting distance) for one or other reason missed him. He also marked is territory.

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This hyena found this bush quite interesting. I could not figure out why?
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These ellies we found at Shilolweni dam
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Now only a lion…. To make the big 5 for the morning…..


From Tshokwane I turned on the H10 and found 2 lionesses crossing the road. Again no other cars!!
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Wel now my day was made….. but not finished… 8)

About 10 north of Lower Sabie we saw cars standing. These 3 cheetah just finished their kill. The vultures were now at the kill, and the cheetahs moved on.
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Okay time was running out and we still had to leave the park to return home. We decided to leave at Croc Bridge.

7 km before Croc Bridge we found these guys in the road – 12 of them!!!! That made my trip absolutely worthwhile!!
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Needless to say we only left 1 minute before the gates closed!!

How lucky can you be on one day!!! :huh: Wow what a weekend and the best of all: So many sightings 1 one day!! Kruger stays TOPS! :thumbs_up:

THE END of trip 1.

You will see that on trip 2 we still saw alot but we were not nearly as lucky as Trip 1.

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Good evening,

just to say thank you for all the nice comments!! :yaya: We had a wonderful time!

Annalie: You were nearly correct!! No1 was Waterbuck and 2 was Impi's. :clap:

Enjoy this last post! I still cannot believe how much I saw on a weekend. :big_eyes:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:29 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Trip 2 - Easter Weekend 2008.


This trip did not have all the BIG sightings of the previous trip, but never the less had interesting sightings.

Well I was definitely humbled with this trip!!

We stayed at Pretoriuskop for the weekend. I love the camp and surroundings but we had a tough time in camp this time ( first time ever!). There were no water in camp for nearly 2 days!!. :rtfm: Nobody bothered to let us know what is happening! Instead we just got a notice on the ablution block to say that we may not use the toilets!!! So what should you do? It is Easter weekend in KNP!! I understand that these problems do happen but then please give another alternative. A water cart and buckets so that you could flush the toilets can be an alternative!

On top of the camp problems my car’s battery decided to give problems! (I think Murphy played his role!! I still have the same battery and since then my car has never given problems!!). She decided when to start! :evil:

The weather did not play along either! It was cold and rainy as you will see on my photographs. So a stressful weekend it was!! :|

Now to the good news. :D
I cannot remember that I ever saw so many European Rollers and Red Backed Shrikes like this year it was amazing!! We counted 56 E. Rollers between Lower Sabie and Croc Bridge! I attempted numerous times to photograph the red backed shrikes, but not one wanted to sit still!

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Here is some highlights from the trip!

A lot of rhino, buffalo and elephant sightings throughout the weekend
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A rhino rubbing post:
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On the Fayi loop we only found AWD spoor and dung!! This dwarf mongoose also posed for me on this road.
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We also found lions on the S65 and about 5 km from Pretoriuskop we found 5 big Sable bulls! I love Sable and always feels honoured to see them :P , but they were in a difficult spot to photograph! We also saw a crocodile outside the water at Mesteldam eating something, but could not see what it was. It looked like a skull of an animal.

Instead I found these nice views at Lake panic.
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I found this Blacksmith lapwing at the Byamithi Weir and the steenbok shortly after.
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In the vicinity of Renosterkoppiesdam we found these sightings:
Baboons playing:
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Wildebeest on attention
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Impala:
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These lions (2 pairs) within 500m were mating. (sorry only a photograph of the one male.)
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Black lined Plated lizards:
Adult:
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Juvenile:
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These ground hornbills were in the tree close to Mpondo dam.
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This tree agama and hamerkop was at Gardenia hide.
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More baboons:
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On a rainy day I found this fish eagle and Verreaux’s (Giant) Eagle Owl. You can see wet the owl was!
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I cannot recall that I have ever seen lions before on rocks…We found these lions on rocks on the Shabeni loop… but they did not like the weather either. As we arrived it started raining and they climbed down after a while…(Sorry for a blurry photos)
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The next morning we found this male on the same loop at another place… Sun shine!
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Well, I cannot say that I had no special sightings for KNP has always something interesting to offer! 8)

Trip report 3 to follow….

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:35 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanx to Pumbaa, Illie, John n Poppy, Lirritma Annalie and Elsa for all the nice comments!

One of the reasons besides work! why my trip reports only get done now, is that my mother passed away in December. I know her soul will always be Kruger. She loved the place. May she rest in peace.

I cannot wait! Only 8 days to the next 6 nights in Kruger.:dance:

This means I must hurry up with my last trip report... by the way! Pride rock gets even better!!

Madeleen.

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:09 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks to Annalie, latenight, Aboon and Jackie for your replies. Also welcome to latenight on the forum! :lol:

I decided to do trip 3 in 2 parts.

Part 1:
Trip report 3 : 1 – 5 May 2008.

I am not concentrating (seeing that it’s the 3rd report) on the “normal” animals in this report, but were seen and appreciated.

Our accommodation were 1 night Pretoriuskop and then 3 nights Lower Sabie.

I normally enter the gates as they open, but this time only left Pretoria at 08:30. :? At least I was on my way to Kruger!! :dance:

Day 1:We entered Phabeni gate at about 13:00. The first animals to see were 2 lions, but they were lying sleeping (as usual) too deep in for photos.

We also found this ellie on the road. Poor Marula tree!!
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We were told by the gate guard to go Shitlhave dam for there were lions there.
And found them in the rain!! (Sorry! not the best fotos!)
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Day 2:The next day we drove the Fayi loop and found these Kudu in the tall grass …. Wild dog spoor and dung… but no wild dog!
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We took Napi road (H1–1) and found a breeding herd of about 10 sable! Wow my day was made !! 3 trips in a row that I have seen Sable!! :shock: (sorry no photos, they were too deep in tall grass) Then we found these 2 chameleons on the road.
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On the S65 we found 3 painted dogs. My favourite!!!! They were sleeping, then standing up playing, but quite deep in the bush, but definitely better than nothing!
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Day 3 had its own enjoyment! We found on our way to Dukes waterhole a side striped jackal and Kori Bustard and then this hyena at their den on the S130
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And also these 2 white rhinos.
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We then went to Mpondo dam, and we took the S21 back to Lower Sabie.

As we were getting closer to a dip in the road an Impala male walked straight towards us! Not in a hurry at all! It was rutting time and it was not strange to see that they look like they were on drugs…. I still commented that this male’s hormones were playing hide and seek with him. We passed the Impala and in the dip we found this friend…
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He was not to friendly with us! His eyes said: Why did you interfere with my lunch? But after 5 minutes decided to find a new “lunch box”… We were the only car at this sighting!

We went back early as we were booked on the sunset drive. Lower Sabie drives I can recommend to any body as I have done plenty of them and have seen always something worthwh ile, even when the weather was against us! This drive was nothing different! We even nearly saw a human kill on this drive, and was not our guide!

Our guide was Robert. A very good guide. We drove the H4-1 towards Skukuza. The first sighting after Sunsetdam was ellies. A baby elephant ( about a year old) decided he will tell us that he did not like us but he started trumpeting we laughed at him and he ran back into the bushes to fetch help and came back with an older “brother” at 10 cm higher than the first one! Oi! They had no ego left!! :lol:

We saw all the normal game, fish eagles, etc. As the sun was setting we arrived at these 2 lions and a “clown” in a car! Sorry! I have no photograph of the “clown”! The “clown” was a South African!! :evil:
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Here he was watching the "clown"
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When we arrived the “clown” was parked on the one side of the road and the lions were lying on the other side of the road. How wide is a road?? 6 maybe 8 metres?? The gates already closed and he was still on his way to Skukuza, another ± 35km away!! :rtfm: He climbed out and sat on his window to take photos. :evil: The male started to growl at him and Robert shouted at him to get back into his car… that he did. There were a third lion, a bit further about a 100m. So the “clown” started his car and drove forward to the 3rd lion. :sniper: Again he sat on his window taking pictures of the 3rd lion and then turned around and started taking pictures of the couple mating at the back.. He was unaware that lion no 3 went for him, as the lion went around the nose of the vehicle we all shouted at him and he climbed back. The lion got a fright and ran into the bushes. Robert immediately reported the vehicle on his radio. I am sure if the “clown” knows how close he was to his death!

What makes me even more mad is that if this guy got injured, the lion will be the one to suffer! :huh:

Later we found a male leopard, another breeding herd ellies, probably 10 hippos crossing the road, 2 porcupines, small spotted genet, lesser bushbaby and all “normal” game. (sorry, night drives are not good for photography, except if you have a huge flash!)

Except for the “clown” what a drive! :clap:


To be continued!! Day 4 and 5 will follow..... :whistle:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:19 pm 
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Hi Mads,

Great trip report and awesome sightings. Just a quick question on the sighting of the 3 Wild Dog on the 2nd of May on the s65. Where about did you see them and at what time was it? The reason why Im asking is that I saw 3 Wild Dogs on the s65 on the 1st of May at about 7am about 5km up the road, heading from the s1 side. They were hunting and just missed an impala kill. Would be interesting to know how far along the road they had moved.

Thanks and kind regards.

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"Wealth is not measured by how much you own, but by how much you give to others!"


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:43 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Good morning from an overcast Pretoria! :|.... But my heart is singing 4 days to go, before I will enter Kruger again! :dance:

Thanks to Lirritma, Dotty, John n Poppy, Nightjar, Annemarie, Pumbaa, Illie Annalie and Patto for reading and commenting.

Patto we found them at about 10:30 and 100m North from the waterhole, about halfway on that road.

I hope you have a fantastic day!

Part 2 to follow soon.... :popcorn:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:36 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Anne-marie just for you!:funny:
Part 2:
Day 4:
The next morning we were out as the gates opened and for obvious reasons! We took the H4-1 towards Skukuza. And just after the Nwatimhiri causeway road (S79) we the found the couple in love in the road.

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We left them after about an hour watching them. We decided to drive the tar road and take the gravel causeway road back. At the bridge on the tar road we found this mother and baby.
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We took the gravel road, but the road was very quiet game wise, only Impala. When we got to the tar road, we saw that the couple in love caused a major traffic jam!! So bad, that we decided to take the gravel road again! As we arrived at the tar we turned towards Skukuza, and not even 500m down the road we found this very kind lady! With the traffic jam at the back, we were only 2 cars at the sighting! It was a cold and overcast morning, so she was sunning herself! When other cars arrived she decided to move off. Weather very bad for photos but here they are!!
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At Skukuza T junction we a huge ellie breeding herd. What a sight! We also saw this Bateleur on the Marula loop.
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Up to now we only saw single buffalos. This was our first breeding herd.
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What a morning!! :dance:

The rest of the day was quite quiet. But I don’t think we could complain!

As we arrived back at camp late that afternoon the king of the jungle was roaring just on the other side of the river! Oh, I just love that sound! :mrgreen:

Day 5:
As we got up to pack the car, the baboons on the opposite side of the river were going crazy! Just after that, I heard the leopard calling. :lol: Unfortunately it was to dark to see anything.

Our last day, for I had to be for work in Klaserie that evening. So a full day in Kruger and to exit by Orpen gate.

We took the tar road towards Tshokwane. The day started slowly and all we found was 3 times lion droppings in the road! But no lions as yet! :roll:

And then Pride Rock by Nkumbe Hill just before Nkumbe lookout point 2 females with 3 cubs. The 3rd time in 2 trips to see lions on rocks!
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At Shilolweni dam we saw this tusker (I think) Can any body tell me if there is any characteristics for Nwashinangana the new emerging tusker? I thought it could be him! :idea:
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At Kumana dam we watched these kudu, waterbuck and 2 lions drinking.
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We went to the Sweni hide and I was horrified to see the whole area covered in Algae!! :shock: Nightjar in your photos there were still areas that was not covered, but now it has taken over the whole area. :!: Except for this White-faced ducks and Egyptian geese, birds were scarce. Green terrapins and crocs! :huh:
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This little lequaan we found at one of the the little streams.
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Well, once again a successful trip!! :clap:

And now only 3 days to go to the next trip with Betelgeuse! :dance: :dance: :dance: :cam:

I hope technology will work! So that I can keep you up to date out of Kruger!

Till we meet soon again! :thumbs_up:

Madeleen.

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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