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 Post subject: cptphotographer's The boys are back..... DV. KNP Sept. '13
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:16 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Anticipation and excitement is busy reaching boiling point, Dad and his two precious boys are off to our beloved Kruger on Monday 23 September GOD willing.
This is yet another boys trip since our precious lady in the family is in high demand at the office and will most likely fly over us in Kruger on a couple of occasions on her way to/from Pemba in Mozambique from our home in Cape Town
Our trip has been booked early this year already, but unexpectedly my SO had work commitments to attend to that was beyond her control, only because she is so extraordinarily good at what she does….. ironically; logistics! 
Our boys and I have however not allowed it to dampen our excitement, although the boys are going to miss mommy, I am going to miss my Kiddo as I have affectionately called her for the last 15 years since we have met.
I am planning to drive up to JHB from Cape Town on Thursday night in order to attend a family wedding on Sunday, then, shortly after the wedding……. Kruger here we come!
The boys can sleep soundly in the back area, by simply putting 2 single mattresses next to each other with pillows, soft toys and blankets while I will be doing the driving bit.
Only 3 more sleeps daddy was the greeting this morning!
I have threatened on several occasions, but really plan to do a trip report mostly to remember the things a person tends to forget in a few years’ time when reading through and reliving the archived trip.
The camera batteries are charged, various types of medicine which might or might not be required is packed.
The trailer has been mostly packed, although I will unpack and repack it on a few more occasions just to get everything in the perfect place. The Jeep has enjoyed a good clean-up on the inside, but with our rainy weather the outside might have to wait for JHB to look half decent, one cannot enter through a Kruger gate with a car looking more like it belongs to the end of a holiday! 
I am really going to make an effort of each day posting a pic and have a short write up on the days sightings and interesting things we experienced, all of this obviously if internet connection allows. With two young boys this can not be promised, sometimes daddy is extremely busy doing, well daddy things! :hmz:
Chat soon, Gerhard

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


Last edited by cptphotographer on Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:30 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
The only remedy is to book the next trip over the last few days on your current trip. :-) It helps ease the pain and ensures the mind that it is "one of these days!"

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:47 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Thanks for all the messages!

No pics to post, planning to do so after the trip when they are all downloaded.

What can I say? Kruger is as awesome as always, nothing new there. :think:

Lower Sabie, 23 September:
Partly cloudy day, but warm. On todays travels we saw a few Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, a single Jackal and a few Hyenas. Pitched the tent and immediately went for an afternoon drive, didn't see anything to report, except for general game (which, fortunately for me I love).

Lower Sabie, 24 September:
Sunny and hot, hit 37 Celsius today! Opened the account this morning with a Leopard scaling a tree, way too far for any decent pic, :wall: but a leopard nevertheless! With a couple of Lion sightings the heat was on (pun intended :-)) to try find the Big5 for the day, the boys tried their best until we drove into LS gate at 18:00 sharp, no Rhino :-(! Tried to take the boys swimming in LS late morning, only to find a notice on the gate that the pool is temporarily closed :-(.

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Lower Sabie, 25 September:
Very pleasant temps today, 27 Celsius! :-) The day's major sightings were opened by two wild dogs trotting towards Duke's Waterhole, they disappeared into dense bush not to be seen again, but that sighting soon were followed by two beautiful male lions walking in the road. Thinking the day couldn't get better, about two hours later we saw a lioness stalk a couple of Impala at a waterhole, but for the umpteenth time I only witnessed an unsuccessful attempt! :( We saw pretty much all the elephants south of the Sabie river, today rhino and buffalo were no problem at all, but the leopard eluded us. Last night on this trip in LS, off to Satara tomorrow, can't believe our first 3 days are over. :shock: Chat soon, Gerhard

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Having an awesome time, but I am missing my wife! :k

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Thanks for all the comments, the boys are doing great, missing mommy, especially at night, but as happy as can be during daylight hours! :D

Satara, 26 September:
Spotted a glimpse of a leopard this morning, soon to be followed by rhino, ellies and 1000's of buffs, not exaggerating here! Packed up and moved to a vacant spot on the fence in Satara. Hopes are high as reports flood in of a kill close to Nsemani dam with lion, finally the Big 5 in a single day...... not to be, not a lion in sight for the rest of the day! Regardless, an awesome day in Kruger. Having my cousin over for a long weekend from JHB, lovely to spend some time together.

Satara, 27 September:
What a scorcher of a day, 40 Celsius! Most animals also apparently trying to avoid the heat with mostly general game and once again the 4/5 of the Big 5, no guess needed a to which one is missing.... Oh Leopard, where art thou? :wall:

Satara, 28 September:
Much more mild in terms of temps today, about 30 C. Satara has been very windy today, our neighbour's gazebo has been completely folded in 2, or maybe 3! Saw plent of general game, buffs, elephants, rhino, lion, but no Leopard. :hmz:

Satara, 29 September:
Been raining for most of the day, not hard, more of a drizzle, but make no mistake, things are very wet in and around tent, camp and park. :) As I am typing a previously unknown leak(s) in our tent keeps on dripping in random areas..... hopefully the rain will not last much longer. Saw few male lions today on a giraffe kill on the tar road towards Nwanetsi, as usual awesome sightings, all except for a certain spotted cat. :redface: Greetings from a very wet and windy Satara.

PS I'll post some pics on my website http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/ as soon as possible.

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Satara, 30 September:
Hi to all from a cold, but at least dry Satara! :thumbs_up: Had quite a bit of rain until about lunchtime when things started clearing! Scott and Colby (our boys) enjoyed taking some pics in a bit of sunlight towards the end of the day. Sure helps when they can open the windows and not get soaked in the process. :D One can only entertain them for so long by playing games etc while driving in the rain.
Sighting-wise things were a bit on the slow side, general game with another large herd of buffalo, but no rhino or leopard. Earlier today we have also spent a good while watching guinea fowl grooming and cleaning themselves and a troop of baboons with their young playing, was awesome to watch. Spotted our first lion later in the afternoon on the tar road towards Olifants and shortly after watched a mother hyena carrying her cub in her mouth, never saw this before, so spent all the time we could with them until we had to head back to camp.
Hope to report a leopard sighting tomorrow! :D
Cheerio from Satara, Gerhard

PS I'll post some pics on my website http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/ as soon as possible.

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Satara, 1 October:
No better way to start a new month than being in Kruger!
Had a day full of unusual steenbok sightings, saw them everywhere, some were relaxing, others grazing, one sleeping, and of course all ended up running! We actually took it easy today and didn't really concentrate on finding anything in particular, but decided to rather just enjoy whichever sightings we were fortunate to have. Amongst others, we had two beautiful rhino sightings and at the end of the day only needed the elusive one (for those who are not familiar with my leopard issues) to complete the Big 5. Enjoyed an amazing sunset.
Cheerio from Satara, Gerhard

PS I'll post some pics on my website http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/ as soon as possible.

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Skukuza, 2 October:
After taking down the tent in Satara, we convinced ourselves that breakfast at Tshokwane should be immediately followed by a well deserved slice each of the famous Milktart, I am glad to report that it tasted as good as always, if not better! :thumbs_up: Around Skukuza we enjoyed a late afternoon drive with a couple of really cool rhino and ellie sightings, however, at the end of the day, again no leopard, no worries though, the worst day in Kruger still better than the best day at the office! :D .

Cheerio from Skukuza, Gerhard

PS I'll post some pics on my website http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/ as soon as possible.

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Please note that this report contains a picture that will be very upsetting to most of our fellow forumites, it is of a VERY SENSITIVE nature.

Let us start of with the more pleasant stuff. Multiple Leopards were spotted today......... just not by us! :hmz:
Regardless, we had some good sightings of our own. We saw a few lions, rhino and ellies.

On a more worrying note, I also unfortunately witnessed first hand the devastation of the "controlled" fires they have had recently in the south western section of the park. We drove through the recently burnt area on the H2-2, first we saw a very bewildered and disoriented looking single wild dog crossing the road, he was in obvious distress, probably got separated from his pack during the fire and got lost. This I could still shake, but few things could have prepared me for what we saw next. An Impala, badly burnt around his eyes, cheeks, jaw, neck and stomach areas. His ears were beyond scorched and the dead tissue was visibly hanging. This is most upsetting and I cannot imagine the pain and suffering this animal has to endure. I have reported it to the gentleman at Afsaal who kindly contacted the section ranger to report the sighting, I have no idea if any action were taken. I am also posting this under a new thread in Kruger National Park.

I do not have a picture of the wild dog, but managed to take this pic of the Impala, my apologies for the poor quality, but that was the last thing on my mind.
Image

Good night from a beautiful Skukuza.
Gerhard

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Skukuza, 4 October:
The boys enjoyed a swim in Skukuza's icy pool, I tried my best, but couldn't get myself into the freezing temps of the water despite the high temps outside. We are having an awesome trip, so wish mommy could join in the fun, it is amazing how well you bond and get to know the working of the little one's minds when you spend such a lot of time together, the things they say is amazing and usually very entertaining. As soon as it gets dark Scott is good at reminding me to spray them, cause he does not want Lamaria :wink: close enough in my book! Colby is a sweets monster, today, as I am about to leave after waiting for about an hour or so to get a nice shot of a Saddle Billed Stork, he tells me to take more pictures, (I hate idling a car at a sighting, I like the silence and taking in the natural sounds) after explaining that I am boiling and we need to go to in order get the aircon going at full blast, he says, only one more picture daddy, well daddy obliges, and I thought to myself, man, he is very understanding and actually gets this being patient for the right shot thing, finally!! :dance: , when, from the corner of my eye I noticed a little hand next to me reach into the chocolate covered raisins as soon as, and every-time I look into the viewfinder! :lol: :lol: Could not help but laugh at his ingenuity! Once again, an awesome day in Kruger.

Skukuza, 5 October:
Scotty reminded me this morning that instead of trying so hard to find a leopard, maybe I should try spot a cheetah instead and maybe we get to see a leopard that way, the logic that only a 7 year old understands :doh: , but like an hour later we spotted two cheetah! :D We also spotted several lion, rhino, ellies, duiker, crocs and a few beautiful kudu bulls. All in all an awesome day of animal spotting.

Cheerio, Gerhard

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


Last edited by cptphotographer on Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Skukuza, 6 October:
The most challenging part of the trip to me, I found to be in the food dept. Scott (turning 8 in a couple weeks DV) is not crazy about pasta, Colby (4 yrs old) lives on it, Scott loves take-aways, Colby hates it, first child I have ever heard of who does not like fries and absolutely hates cheese! So tonight we have resorted to a toasted cheese and fries for Scott bought as a take-away and me making noodles for Colby, they both enjoyed their favorite dinners, so daddy is a happy camper! Don't worry mommy (and all other mommies gasping out there), I have made sure that they do get some veg and fruit in as part of a balanced diet. fruit pastilles taken with pineapple & carrot juice must count for something. :D

We spotted two leopards at two different leopard sightings today! Here I am assuming that the tail from the first sighting, and the hanging spotted leg from the second sighting were actually attached to real live leopards :D Yip folks, that was pretty much the entirety of the sightings as far as leopard goes, a tail and a single hanging leg! :D We nevertheless had an awesome day and spent a large part of the afternoon first watching a troop of Vervet Monkeys and then a herd of Elephants grazing in the riverbed of the Sabie river from the high water bridge.

Cheerio from a windy Skukuza, Gerhard

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Thanks all for the comments guys! 8)

Skukuza, 7 October:
The day started off with a bang, a leopard in a tree, in full view close to Lower Sabie, as soon as it descended from the tree however, I noticed that it has a snare around its neck! :( Fortunately the section ranger, Lawrence Baloi is a very professional and capable person with a real love and passion for Kruger and all its inhabitants. He was there in a flash as soon as I notified him and started the process of trying to track and capture the leopard to free him from the deadly necklace. :clap: Well done Lawrence! I have inserted 2 pics showing the snare below.
The rest of the day we encountered a single lioness walking in the road, plenty of ellies and buffalo, but for the second day in a row, no rhino.
One of the highlights were however a juvenile fish eagle (my ID anyway :lol: ) with a hind leg of a steenbok, a Tawny Eagle swooped in, grabbed the leg and started flying off with it, miscalculating the weight however, he really struggled to get airborne! It all happened in an absolute flash, not one single picture to remember it by. :doh:
Another wonderful day in Kruger, greetings from a cool Skukuza!
Gerhard

Image
Image

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Skukuza, 8 October:
Lovely cool day in Kruger, looking at low to mid 20's and overcast all day, not great light for photography, but really enjoying the temps!
Spoke to Lawrence this afternoon, leopard with snare around its neck is proving a bit more difficult to trap than expected, but they have had a visual on him and will keep on trying! :clap:
Enjoyed an awesome lion sighting this morning, nothing beats spotting something first! Plenty of rhino and a few majestic kudu bulls. No leopard, but another absolutely amazing day in Kruger.
The mood is somewhat sombre tonight, although we all miss mommy at home, tomorrow is our last full day on this trip in Kruger...... but God Willing be back in Dec! :dance: (I like Scott's suggestion: "Daddy, let us go home, get mommy and then come back, I said, and what about school, He said: I'll quit!" - a little worrying seeing he is only in Grade 1 :D )

Good night all from Skukuza!

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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 Post subject: Re: The boys are back..... DV
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 191
Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
Skukuza, 9 October:
Last full day in the park on our current trip, but what a day it was! Only needed a rhino to complete the Big 5, but awesome lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant sightings, not to mention all the other general game. The day started off cloudy but by mid afternoon all clouds disappeared and the temps started rising rapidly, a beautiful clear evening as we speak.

The boys are exhausted, both fell asleep quickly, all very excited to see mommy on Friday GOD Willing.

Greetings from Skukuza, Gerhard

_________________
"My GOD is a GOD to be a friend of, not a GOD to be afraid of." Dr. Dwight Nelson
My photographic memories http://www.sweni.co.za/photography/


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