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What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
So many stories! Here's a quick look at the good, bad, ugly and encouraging RHINO NEWS
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Today's Update on Themba the Injured Rhino

Kariega Game Reserve. 

 

This just in via OSCAP from Dr Fowlds.

 

"Visual sightings of Thandi confirm that she is eating and moving around normally. We still do not have good images of her face so difficult to be sure of her condition but I am comfortable that we can maintain low levels of concern for her.

 

Themba on the other hand has not been moving around very much. He remains close to a large water hole and has been eating although not as much as he was 3 days ago. He has spent some time with his leg in the muddy water and knowing how many open spaces there are in his bad leg, I shudder to think what has gone into that leg. In my experience of other wild animals it is quite common for them to bathe in muddy water without any apparent concern for wound contamination. From a medical perspective this makes me cringe but I have witnessed some surprising recoveries so it may not be as bad as what we perceive.

 

After being very proud of a surgical procedure I did once on an elephants eye and the degree of care we had taken to work under sterile conditions, I had a report the next day to say that he was standing in the water hole scooping up mud with his trunk and rubbing it into his bad eye! That elephant whose eye I considered removing, recovered so well that a year later I couldn’t tell which eye I had operated on.

 

My levels of concern for Themba today are high. The results of his blood tests will only be available in another day or two for comparison with previous tests. These will be very important is assessing his chances especially if his levels of activity, eating and drinking behaviour have not improved by the end of tomorrow.

 

As always, we have been overwhelmed by your messages of encouragement which mean so much to me and I know the whole team at Kariega are sustained by your words and your efforts to help Themba and Thandi . I wish I could show these rhino how many people right across the world are willing them to get well, it would take a stadium to fit us all in. Your actions in spreading the word of their plight it starting to ripple across the planet. I know that there are already students in China who have been exposed to the video footage and are as appalled as we are. This is such encouraging news as the one aspect of the rhino fight we have been bad at has been reaching into the user countries. Please don’t underestimate the power of these images in your hands and what they can achieve in our quest to protect all rhino.

 

As the decision makers in global conservation plan to meet again to discuss what can be done to reduce the killing, we need to keep driving hard at the most fundamental layers of this war namely welfare, awareness and education. The owners of Kariega gave me two directives at the start of this process, firstly to do whatever I thought best for Themba and Thandi and secondly, regardless of the outcome of either of them, to ensure that this process would be to the benefit of all remaining rhino.

 

Kariega have been amazing in making all treatment and images freely available for use across the world. Themba and Thandi have been even more amazing in showing us their determination to live. What we learn about these horrific wounds will certainly change the way we approach future cases such as this and with your help improve the chances of many other rhino in the future. Often it takes a crisis in life before we appreciate the things that are important to us. Will this rhino crisis teach us what’s of value in the world? Will we show ourselves that even though we face great odds, we will fight our way through this crisis, and be stronger when we face the next one.

Your response shows me that there are enough of us to beat the criminals. Let’s show them that enough IS enough.

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South Africa: The Right to Protest Handbook

The do's and don'ts for protestors and police.

It is recommended that you do check with local authorities before staging a demonstration or protest.

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Wounded rhino dies after escape - Suspect commits suicide

POACHERS who slaughtered and dehorned two white rhinos in the Ezemvelo-controlled Weenen game reserve this month are also believed to be responsible for the death of a third white rhino.

 

Its carcass was recovered in the reserve late last week.

 

The horns of the third rhino were not removed, but investigators established that the animal had been shot and wounded in its shoulder and probably died a slow death after managing to escape from the poachers.

 

The hunt for the poachers is continuing amid gloomy reports that the toll of rhinos poached has risen to 135 already so far this year countrywide. Sapa this week quoted Department of Environmental Affairs spokesperson Albi Modise who revealed that the Kruger National Park had lost 75 rhinos to poachers since the beginning of the year. The second highest number of rhinos slain by poachers is in KZN with 18, Limpopo with 17 and the North West Province with 15.

 

The report said SA has lost 448 rhinos to illegal hunting and trade in rhino horn last year.

 

Modise said the department was encouraged by an increasing number of arrests and convictions this year to counter rhino poaching. He added that 89 people were arrested for illegal activities involving rhino horns across the country since January.

 

Colonel Vishnu Naidoo reported that a game reserve manager, Walter Nkuna (40) who is believed to be linked to rhino poaching, shot and killed himself at Thabazimbi in Limpopo when police began to move in on him this week. - The Witness

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The Borakalalo Poaching Incident

The Borakalalo Poaching Incident | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

An account of the poaching incident at Borakalalo, by Elise Daffue, Founder of StopRhinoPoaching.com

 

For those of you that haven’t been there, I don’t think I can adequately describe what a rhino crime scene feels or smells like. Nor do I have words for the thousands of bloated flies that hold vigil in the trees all round you, lazy, almost tame, waiting for their gap to feed on yet another victim of man’s greed. This morning’s trip to Borakalalo, just outside Brits in the North West Province has left me shattered –

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Is This What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?

Origami design and folding:

Sipho Mabona http://mabonaorigami.com/ Animation:

Stoptrick Hamburg http://www.stoptrick.com/...

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DON'T BUY! DON'T SUPPORT! Antique Rhinoceros Horn Cups 'Highlight' of Upcoming Auction

A set of antique Chinese rhinoceros horn cups -- which appraised for a "record-breaking" dollar amount on the American television show "Antiques Roadshow" last year -- is now slated to be sold on March 20th at Sotheby's New York.
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Lyn du Plessis's comment, March 22, 2012 11:19 AM
Sotheby's should be boycotted! OR the proceeds of this sale should be paid over by the the owner/s to a Rhino rescue/conservation group! It is amazing to think that Sotheby's, with their long history in auctioneering, would even consider touching these 'cups' - it is criminal.
Wildlife Margrit's comment, March 22, 2012 11:36 AM
morlyn thanks for your comment. Any thoughts on how to do what you're suggesting? Both your ideas would have an impact I believe.
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MUSIC VIDEO: Africa's red sun is crying

Words: Jim McIntosh

Music: Vin Gallo

Africa's red sun is crying, As its blood seeps out around. Its wildlife is dying As man spreads across the ground...

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VIDEO: South Africa Rhino Poachings: 135 Endangered Rhinoceros Killed This Year

VIDEO: South Africa Rhino Poachings: 135 Endangered Rhinoceros Killed This Year | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African officials say 135 endangered rhinoceros have been killed by poachers so far this year, about a third of the number killed during all of 2011.
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VIDEO: Tribute to Vusi - Brave Little Rhino

Poaching victim number?

 

A very brave little Rhino who captured the hearts of so many for the short time he was with us. May he now rest in peace with his mother and sister... 

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Alleged rhino poacher kills self - IOL.co.za

Alleged rhino poacher kills self - IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A game reserve manager allegedly involved in rhino poaching shot and killed himself at the reserve in Dwaalboom, near Thabazimbi, Limpopo, police said on Tuesday.

 

Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said the body of 40-year-old Walter Nkuna was found in his room in the reserve on Monday.

 

“Police were following leads of rhino poaching after a rhino was killed last Friday at the game farm. The police were about to confront the suspect when he was found dead.

 

“His official firearm was found next to his body. It is suspected he might have ended his life when police were about to arrest him.”

 

There was no evidence of foul play, Naidoo said. – Sapa
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Not so Good News Today About Themba the Rhino

Kariega Game Reserve

UPDATE MONDAY 19 MARCH 2012 20H30

 

We have just received the following from Dr Fowlds!. Once again we apologize for the delay! Please keep up your support for us all as we continue this struggle!
Thank you!!

 

"Themba is moving less and less every day, he is still eating and drinking well but our levels of concern are creeping up again and the fear of infection running out of control in that leg, worries us continuously. We will resist another anaesthetic at all costs but tomorrow, once again, we prepare for this very real possibility.

 

How much more of these can he take? Will this be the one that makes his body say enough is enough?

 

Given all that he has gone through, the level of pressure on the team increases every time. Tomorrow morning we will re-asses his situation and once again weigh up risk vs benefit and pray we are doing the best thing for him. Thandi continues to move around all over the park and shows nothing to concern us.

 

With official figures on poached rhino during 2012 (up to 16th March) now listed as 135 animals I find it soul destroying to think that since the night of poaching of the Kariega three, we have lost 45 more rhino. This is now an average of three per day. In other words, the horrors of what we found on that morning of hell on the 2nd of March, has happened every day since then to rhino across our country. In spite of more cries of disgust, more arrests, more anti-poaching training and deployment we are currently loosing this battle. We need to do more.

 

Within this vortex of crime, greed, cruelty and human scum we can’t help but admire Themba and Thandi desperately trying to struggle their way out. Thandi still making slow progress away from the gravity that tried to suck her in, Themba, the boy with the courage of a warrior scarcely managing to resist the current. The irony of their story is that should they live, should they free themselves of this life threatening situation, they become immune from the curse that the orchestrators of poaching have place on all rhino. Because they will never grow horns again, the very symbol of their grand stature in natures order, they become worthless to poachers, no longer a target, free from mans greed, free from the threat that stalks every single rhino left on the planet. What a different life they will have if they make it through. Yes, survivors are important. They are important for the species and they are important for the fight.

 

The motivate us in a war that for now we are losing. But we look at them and we learn from their fight, that every single one is important. Survivors of this level of brutality, win immunity. Please continue to support the Kariega team in fighting not just for their lives, but fighting for their immunity...for LIFE."

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LATEST STATISTICS ON RHINO POACHING - WAR

‎19 MARCH 2012

 

Department of Environmental Affairs is concerned about the ongoing scourge of rhino poaching. To date, a total of 135 rhinos have been killed for the illegal trade in rhino horn.


However, the department is encouraged by the increasing number of arrests and convictions made so far to counter rhino poaching. Since January 2012, a total of 89 suspects have been arrested and others have already been sentenced and are serving prison terms.


Kruger National Park continues to be the biggest victim of the senseless rhino killing. Last week, a suspected poacher was shot dead in the Kruger National Park and two suspects were arrested. In addition, a fifth KNP official stationed at the Pretoriuskop section of the park has been arrested.


SANParks in conjunction with SAPS are working flat out to determine if links exist between other internal suspects in relation to the two rhino killed in Pretoriuskop last month. A total of 75 rhinos have been lost to poaching in the Kruger National Park this year.


The department urges South Africans to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrest and prevention of illegal killing to 0800 205 005.

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Rhino horn gang nabbed by cops

Four men were arrested on Durban’s beachfront yesterday for being in possession of a rhino horn.

 

The swoop came as a wildlife expert warned that SA could lose 1 300 rhinos to black-market poachers by the end of the year.

 

Police in civilian clothing swooped on the suspects and the men were on the ground within minutes, their hands tied, as bystanders applauded.

 

Initially bystanders believed they were witnessing a botched hijacking, but were shocked to see a rhino horn on the road near the suspects.

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German police arrest Briton over rhino horn theft - Telegraph

German police arrest Briton over rhino horn theft  - Telegraph | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Police in Germany said on Thursday they had arrested a British man on suspicion of helping to steal rhino horns worth 50,000 euros (£42,000) from a museum display case.
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DEMONSTRATION AND NIGHT VIGIL AT THE CHINESE EMBASSY PRETORIA | Facebook

DEMONSTRATION AND NIGHT VIGIL AT THE CHINESE EMBASSY PRETORIA | Facebook | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Live near Pretoria?

 

KILL THE DEMAND FOR RHINO HORN FOR CHINESE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE!

 

Please join us for this demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria on the 29th March at 10.30am and for the night vigil where we will light candles for all those rhino killed so far in 2012. We need everyone"s support . Please join us and make a difference, this is too important to ignore.


Rhinos have been slaughtered to near extinction to fuel the insatiable demand for rhino horn products in China - and more recently Vietnam - all based on myths about the alleged medicinal properties of rhino horn.China needs to take responsibility.

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Themba The Rhino Still Critical

Kariega Reserve UPDATE:

 

Received from Dr Fowlds.

 

"News from the Kariega team today is that Themba has moved over four hundred meters he has drunk well but is not eating as well as we had hoped. Levels of concern
fluctuate between medium to high . This morning he hadn't moved much and seemed to have taken his session yesterday quite badly but this afternoon he seems a little improved. Some fluid has come from the drainage holes in his leg overnight.

 

Comments from Prof Reyers warn of the possibility of liver infection. We are not in a position to be able to do a liver scan or other diagnostic tests to confirm what could be happening in his liver but we do know that his injuries are placing this organ under a lot of strain. Intensifying his anti-bioitc treatment would require even more regular immobilisations than we are currently risking as we don't have other long acting treatment options to move onto.

 

Thandi is moving around well but is hiding up in the thickets and we have not been able to get images of her face for several days. The tracking teams are reporting a slight smell which may also indicate that infection is building up in her facial wounds. It has been 6 days since her last treatment and I was hoping to be able to extend her treatment intervals after the previous assessment. Once we can get more visual information regarding her face, we will make a decision re her.

 

Today Paul Mills, who has given an enormous amount of his time and expertise to this process, has posted the video footage of Thandi's treatment session on day 4.

 

Reviewing these images and reliving some of those emotions is heart wrenching, all over again.

 

My mind seems to have chosen to forget how many loose pieces of skin and hanging bone we had to remove from her face and how deep and random the gashes were. All that precious tissue that now needs rebuilding is absolutely useless to poachers anyway. In fact it is probably a risk for them as it needs to be disposed of somewhere before the horn gets passed onto the next criminal in the greed chain.

 

Such is the degree of lust for this horn that they will not risk leaving the smallest fragment of it behind and so they butcher extra inches of living, feeling flesh away in carrying out their monstrous deeds.


What will you and I do today to help stop this cruel onslaught. What weapons do we have to fight this war. Today, the whole team of dedicated, caring, rhino passionate people give you the undeniable truth of visual images that transend language and culture. How effective this weapon is depends on how far and wide you are prepared to spread it. While we struggle to bring an end to their suffering, we ask that you keep these images alive in the eyes of the world because today at least one other rhino went through this hell and tomorrow there will probably be more."

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, March 22, 2012 7:53 AM
Come on Themba - you can do it!!!!
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What’s Really Killing the Rhino: Lack of Skill, Training, Equipment...

What’s Really Killing the Rhino: Lack of Skill, Training, Equipment... | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Rhino poaching 135 dead, 75 in Kruger National Park, endangered rhino brink of extinction, South Africa, wildlife trafficking, organized crime, illegal trade.

 

We’re only 81 days into 2012, that means 1.6 rhino die each day. If this rate continues we will lose close to 600 rhino this year, bringing the losses since 2007 (five year period) to around 1,500 rhino. With only a few thousand of the black and white rhino left… we’re losing the battle...

 

It appears that technicalities are really killing the rhino!

Things such as...

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Rhino Horn Items Sold at Sotheby's Auction

Rhino Horn Items Sold at Sotheby's Auction | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Three rhino horn walking sticks and a rhino horn sculpture available for thousands of dollars at New York's Sotheby Auction

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Latest Rhino Stats - DEA

Latest Rhino Stats - DEA | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
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News on Themba Poaching Attack Survivor

Kariega Game Reserve


UPDATE TUESDAY 20 MARCH 2012 18H15

 

We have just received the following from Dr Fowlds!

 

"Day 19 and today we worked with Themba without catching sight of Thandi. We spent a long time with him assessing if there was any way we could avoid another anaesthetic.


He appeared a little more lethargic to me and his leg is still giving him a lot of discomfort. Jason reported some lumps of pussy fluid every time he lay down and I wasn’t sure which hole it was coming from. On the strength of his previous blood results which showed that his kidneys were in better shape than I had thought, I made the decision to go ahead with another procedure.

 

We were joined by Dr Lamont today which was an honour for me as he has had more experience in the reconstruction of traumatised tissues than ten of me would ever get to see in a lifetime. As before the Kariega team of staff and volunteers swung into action and provided amazing, focused and dedicated work on a rhino which I know they would go to the ends of the earth for.


The two worrying aspects from his blood results are the escalation of chemicals released by damaged liver and muscle cells. This was expected and we will only know the real significance of these values when today’s blood results are received, and show an improvement or not. To assist with this aspect of his care I have asked for the advice of Prof Reyers an expert veterinary clinical haematologist who has also offered to lend his expertise to this process.

 

Themba coped better with his anaesthetic today than the previous time. His face is visibly improved and for the first time there were no maggots to be seen and there was very little necrotic tissue build up in his exposed nasal sinus.

 

The worrying news is that we are now seeing the full extent of his lack of blood on the night of the poaching and large areas of tissue have broken down and become infected. He has a hole on the inside of his shin that I can get my hand into and the middle third of his tibia can be felt through this hole. This cavity extends down to just short of his hock joint. The only way this infected tissue is able to escape is when he lies on his right side, so most of the time it has been sitting inside this cavity when we need it to leave the body. I was forced to make a drainage hole on the inside of his hock joint at the lowest point of the cavity through skin an inch thick and in the process I have disrupted some arterial supply which I will need to be watched carefully. The process which is taking place now inside his leg we sometime refer to as absessation. In this case we are talking about multiple cavities some of which interlead. The most important thing we can do for him now is to ensure that all dead tissues inside his leg have a chance to drain out and we need to ensure that the infection in the dead tissue does not get into the living tissues and cause more damage.

 

We have sent a sample away for culture and to test is if the anti-biotics we are using will be able to kill these bacteria. He woke up fine from the drugs and managed to take a small amount of weight on this leg in his sedated state before we left him. It is always such a relief to see him stand up and I know that for the next few days he will feel more comfortable.

 

In spite of the awful amount of damage to this leg, his body is visibly trying to make things right. My thanks to Dr Lamont who is now comprehensively on board and will begin his own process of research and forward planning in the hope that we can restore their facial injuries to some level of dignity.

 

The support for these two rhino is growing even more daily and we are so humbled by the efforts and contributions of so many people. It is difficult to predict what tomorrow will bring.

 

For today, Themba is not another statistic and for this we are so so grateful!"

Following this post will be some pics taken during todays procedure. We will also be releasing some photographs taken over the last 19 days. Some of these pics are absolutely heart wrenching, but we feel that this is the only way that people out there will be able to share with us the utter agony Dr Fowlds and the whole KARIEGA team go through on a daily basis!

 

Once again we thank you for all your support!

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Saarti's comment, March 21, 2012 11:53 AM
This situation in SA is alarming and seems to be never ending.
Initially I was against de-horning. But now I am thinking that the suggested idea of selling the ivory held back and allowing "farming" with rhinos is a good idea. It is said that the absurd prices paid for horn will fall. There will be no incentive for poaching.
What do the experts think of this?
Wildlife Margrit's comment, March 21, 2012 12:01 PM
Saarti. Sadly those that are for de-horning don't realize that getting a free horn via poaching is far better than buying one. So the poaching chain (organized crime) needs to be broken. For an expert's opinion please read Chris Mercer's eReport found here on this feed or directly at http://www.Nikela.org/ebooks look for RHINO HORN
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Rhino Protection from the USA: Behind the Schemes, Episode 5

Saving Rhinos presents "Behind the Schemes" -- a web series and podcast which discusses how commerce, corruption, and counterfeit cures are destroying our Pl...
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Rhino death toll rises as strike continues - The Mercury | IOL.co.za

Rhino death toll rises as strike continues - The Mercury | IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

A strike by almost half the rangers at the Kruger National Park entered its sixth week yesterday, amid mounting concern over the security of the country’s largest rhino population.

 

Yesterday, the national death toll for the year so far rose to 135 rhinos, with 75 killings in the park.

Park managers have warned the 360 strikers that SANParks will stick to the principle of “no work, no pay”.

 

Over the past few weeks, SANParks has refused to release official statistics on how many rhinos have been poached during the strike – although at least four of its staff were arrested late last month on suspicion of shooting rhinos in the Pretoriuskop section of the facility.

 

Environmental Affairs Department spokesman Albi Modise said yesterday that 135 rhinos had been poached this year, with 75 killings (55 percent of the national total) inside Kruger.

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OU prof aids effort to save rhino poaching victims

OU prof aids effort to save rhino poaching victims | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

When South African veterinarian Dr.William Fowlds discovered four rhinoceroses stripped of their horns and on the verge of death, he called Ohio University professor of anatomy Larry Witmer for help.

 

 

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Everest trek for rhinos | Facebook

Everest trek for rhinos | Facebook | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

You can follow them on Facebook now. 

Dante and Rene have their own page now where they will be posting their adventures.

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Sponsors needed for rhino pilot

Sponsors needed for rhino pilot | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
An estimated 600 rhinos will be killed in SA this year and all businesses should get involved in the fight against rhino poaching, says WiST. Local company Wireless Intelligent Sensing Technology SA..

 

Local company Wireless Intelligent Sensing Technology SA (WiST) hopes to carry out a pilot project, in conjunction with wildlife veterinarian William Fowlds, to test whether its sensory tracking tags can effectively counter rhino poaching.


WiST SA CEO Gert Botha says that, once an investor comes onboard, WiST will supply its devices free of charge, while Fowlds has undertaken to help with the practical application of the devices.

 

Botha says that due to complications in the wild, the pilot will have to be carried out on domestic animals first, adding that Fowlds has agreed to help with the pilot on domestic animals.

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