I reported an alligator today...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2009 12:59 PM GMT
    So I'm having coffee on the patio this morning around 7:15, and see something breaking the still surface of the Middle River. At first I wonder if it's a manatee, which I love to watch, but that stay mostly underwater and are very elusive.

    Then as it gets closer I realize it's an alligator, gliding upstream in slow motion, hardly making any wake. It was about 6 feet, large enough to concern humans & pets. But this section of the river is totally bordered by concrete walls, like a canal, so I knew it couldn't leave the water at this point, but could elsewhere.

    Still, I hadn't seen one up here before, and know that Animal Control does remove them from other public waterways. Starting with the police department admin number (not 911), by the second transfer I got the animal control people.

    "Oh, yes, we get alligators in that part of the river," said this guy.

    "OK," I replied, "I've just never seen one here before, a 6-footer, and wondered if it needed anyone's attention. Maybe eat our ducks or something, ya know?"

    "Yes, that's what they eat, the ducks. But that's OK."

    "Alright, thanks for your time, just wanted to be sure. Bye."

    And I'm thinking to myself, humans aren't allowed to mess with the wild Muscovy ducks around here, but alligators can eat them whole? And am I gonna be reading a story tomorrow about another little kid dragged into the water from his back yard and eaten by an alligator?

    We see these TV images of animal control people wrestling with alligators to remove them from waterways around here, so when are alligators OK to be around people, and when aren't they? Only after they eat someone? I'm still confused... icon_confused.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 29, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
    Very interesting indeed Tom.. and you did the right thing to call the authorities.. kind of an odd response..


    I did want to report that I saw an alligator yesterday (and a manatee too,
    for that matter)... but it was at the Sedgwick County Zoo... LOL.
    I guess your situation was a little different....

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    Jun 29, 2009 1:17 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidVery interesting indeed Tom.. and you did the right thing to call the authorities.. kind of an odd response..

    Well, I simply didn't know. I even woke my partner, to get his opinion before phoning, and he's never seen a big alligator here, either. But I certainly wasn't in a queeny panic, and didn't phone 911, just admin numbers, to learn if this was normal, or needed some attention.

    As for manatees, they're common in this part of the river, though hard to spot. We even have signs along the river warning boaters about them, and this is a wake-free idle-speed area to protect them.

    Every now and then I walk over to the concrete wall and look down into the water, and if the lighting's good, I may see one grazing the underwater plants in the river. It's as good as an aquarium, right outside my door. icon_biggrin.gif

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    Jun 29, 2009 3:44 PM GMT
    If that were me, I would freak the hell out and have it removed asap. They give me the creeps!
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    Jun 29, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    It's definitely the time for a return to alligator shoes, bags, upholstery, car roofs, siding WHATEVER eliminates the bastards!icon_redface.gif
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    Jun 29, 2009 4:03 PM GMT
    1StopCandyShop saidIf that were me, I would freak the hell out and have it removed asap. They give me the creeps!

    Well I did wonder if a 6-footer was a potential risk to people and their pets along the river. Plus we have water fowl that are protected here; certainly humans would be fined for harming them.

    But this guy at Animal Control says these alligators can cruise our waters, and eat the same birds the rest of us can't touch. Plus I've seen little kids swimming in the residential section of this river, but I guess that's OK, too.

    I just thought I should report it, since I really didn't know, and see all these stories about alligators being pulled out of the local waterways as being risks to people & pets. Apparently that doesn't apply where I live.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Jun 29, 2009 4:10 PM GMT
    I get creeped out by lizards or other reptile things -- even frogs make me queasy -- so an alligator crossing my path would send me into FREAK OUT mode real quick.icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 29, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    funny pictures
  • funguys

    Posts: 130

    Jun 29, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    I was terrified of alligators when I first moved to south Florida 8 years ago. Since then, I have learned to respect them and give them their distance. However, I am not as afraid as I was. Alligator attacks on humans are an extremely rare occurrence.

    Normally, alligators are afraid of humans. Alligators will lose their fear of humans if people throw them food. (That's why you should NEVER feed wild animals). The only time Animal Control will act is if an alligator is approaching humans because it has lost it's fear of humans. They will then kill the animal.
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    Jun 29, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    Caslon11000 saidfunny pictures


    LMAO!!! You are so silly! Love it!
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jun 29, 2009 4:35 PM GMT
    I hope you have insurance.

    127721686_e47cf2324e.jpg
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    Jun 29, 2009 7:15 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    1StopCandyShop saidIf that were me, I would freak the hell out and have it removed asap. They give me the creeps!

    Well I did wonder if a 6-footer was a potential risk to people and their pets along the river. Plus we have water fowl that are protected here; certainly humans would be fined for harming them.

    But this guy at Animal Control says these alligators can cruise our waters, and eat the same birds the rest of us can't touch. Plus I've seen little kids swimming in the residential section of this river, but I guess that's OK, too.

    I just thought I should report it, since I really didn't know, and see all these stories about alligators being pulled out of the local waterways as being risks to people & pets. Apparently that doesn't apply where I live.


    Both are endangered.

    Human's aren't. It's what warning signs are for.
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    Jun 29, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
    I somehow had the impression Florida's game authorities moved 'gators from residential areas when they were reported to be over 4'...
    That was mentioned in the Sanibel Island documentary of the Janie Melsek attack. Apparently, residents were quite aware of the 12' one in their local waterway, but didn't report it. They even had pics of it pulling a 7' gator out of the water and eating it.

    I wouldn't get in a natural body of water down there for anything.

    http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/wildlife/reptiles/fatal-alligator-attacks.html

    Fatal Alligator Attacks
    american-alligator.jpg
    American Alligator
    Photo By Todd ©

    1. Oscar Scherer State Park, Florida - August 16 1973, Sharon Holmes, 16, killed at dusk by an 11'3" male alligator that had been fed by park visitors.
    2. Peace River Canal, Florida - September 29 1977, George Leonard, 52 was attacked and killed by a 7' female alligator while swimming at about 8:30 pm.
    3. Martin County, Florida - September 10 1978, 14 year old Phillip Rastrelli was attacked and killed by an 11 foot male alligator while swimming in Hidden River Canal at 12:00 pm.
    4. St. Lucie County, Florida - August 6th 1984, 11 year old Robert Crespo was attacked and killed by 12'4" alligator while swimming at 4:30 pm.
    5. Wakulla River, Florida - July 13th 1987 George Cummings III, 29 was killed by a an 11 foot male alligator while snorkeling at about 2:00 pm.
    6. Charlotte County, Florida - On July 4th 1988, a 4 year old girl Erin Glover was killed by a 10'7" male alligator as she walked along the shore of Hidden Lake at 6:00 pm.
    7. Martin County, Florida - June 19th 1993, Bradley Weidenhamer a 10 year old male was killed an 11'4" alligator while wading in the Loxahatchee River in Jonathan Dickinson State Park at 6:00 in the evening.
    8. Sumter County, Florida - October 3 1993, 70 year old Grace Eberhart was killed at Lake Serenity. Circumstances of her death are unknown except that she died of a broken neck caused by an alligator bite to the head and neck. Multiple alligators could have been involved in the attack.
    9. Volusia County, Florida - March 21st 1997, 3 year old Adam Binford was killed when he strayed outside of a roped off swimming area at Lake Ashby. His body was recovered the next about 1 mile from the attack site. An 11 foot alligator suspected of the attack was later killed by a trapper.
    10. Sarasota County, Florida - May 4th 2001, 70 year old Samuel Wetmore's body discovered in pond near his home with 8'4" alligator was circling nearby. Mr. Wetmore died of blood loss and trauma.
    11. Polk County, Florida - June 23 2001, 2 year old Alexandria Murphy wondered away from her fenced back yard and was killed by a 6'6" alligator 700 feet from her home on Lake Cannon.
    12. Sanibel, Florida - September 11th 2001, 82 year old Robert Steele was attacked and killed while walking his dog on a trail between two wetland areas in the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. FWC officers later killed a 10'9" and 6' alligator.
    13. Lake County, Florida - June 18th 2003, 12 year old Brian Griffin was attacked while swimming near a boat ramp on the Dead River. The alligator was 10'4" long 339 pounds and was subsequently destroyed along with several other large gators.
    14. Sanibel Island, Florida - June 2004, 54 year old Janie Melsek was attacked and killed by a 12 foot long, 457 pound alligator, while working on landscaping.
    15. Lee County, Florida - 20 year old Michelle Reeves was killed by a 7'11" male alligator when she went swimming after midnight in a retention pond at Lee Memorial Health Park
    16. Lakeland, Florida - March 15th 2005, fishermen discovered the body of 56 year old Don Owen about 12 miles from his home, he had been missing since March 9th. Trappers later caught an 8'9" 300 pound alligator that had Mr. Owens forearm in it's stomach. It was later determined that the alligator had been fed by area residents which is illegal.
    17. Port Charlotte, Florida - July 15 2005, Kevin Albert Murray, 41, was swimming in the Apollo Waterway when a 12-foot alligator attacked and killed him.
    18. Sunrise Florida - May 10, 2006 Yovy Suarez Jimenez, 28, went out for an evening jog and was last seen dangling her feet over the water of a canal near her home. Her partially consumed body was found in the canal the following morning.
  • funguys

    Posts: 130

    Jun 29, 2009 8:39 PM GMT
    Beaux,

    Yes, swimming in fresh water in Florida is not a wise idea. As long as Red Vespa stays out of the Middle River (which believe me you do not want to swim in anyway) he will be fine.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 29, 2009 11:38 PM GMT
    Beaux saidI somehow had the impression Florida's game authorities moved 'gators from residential areas when they were reported to be over 4'...
    That was mentioned in the Sanibel Island documentary of the Janie Melsek attack. Apparently, residents were quite aware of the 12' one in their local waterway, but didn't report it. They even had pics of it pulling a 7' gator out of the water and eating it.

    I wouldn't get in a natural body of water down there for anything.

    http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/wildlife/reptiles/fatal-alligator-attacks.html

    Fatal Alligator Attacks
    american-alligator.jpg
    American Alligator
    Photo By Todd ©

    1. Oscar Scherer State Park, Florida - August 16 1973, Sharon Holmes, 16, killed at dusk by an 11'3" male alligator that had been fed by park visitors.
    2. Peace River Canal, Florida - September 29 1977, George Leonard, 52 was attacked and killed by a 7' female alligator while swimming at about 8:30 pm.
    3. Martin County, Florida - September 10 1978, 14 year old Phillip Rastrelli was attacked and killed by an 11 foot male alligator while swimming in Hidden River Canal at 12:00 pm.
    4. St. Lucie County, Florida - August 6th 1984, 11 year old Robert Crespo was attacked and killed by 12'4" alligator while swimming at 4:30 pm.
    5. Wakulla River, Florida - July 13th 1987 George Cummings III, 29 was killed by a an 11 foot male alligator while snorkeling at about 2:00 pm.
    6. Charlotte County, Florida - On July 4th 1988, a 4 year old girl Erin Glover was killed by a 10'7" male alligator as she walked along the shore of Hidden Lake at 6:00 pm.
    7. Martin County, Florida - June 19th 1993, Bradley Weidenhamer a 10 year old male was killed an 11'4" alligator while wading in the Loxahatchee River in Jonathan Dickinson State Park at 6:00 in the evening.
    8. Sumter County, Florida - October 3 1993, 70 year old Grace Eberhart was killed at Lake Serenity. Circumstances of her death are unknown except that she died of a broken neck caused by an alligator bite to the head and neck. Multiple alligators could have been involved in the attack.
    9. Volusia County, Florida - March 21st 1997, 3 year old Adam Binford was killed when he strayed outside of a roped off swimming area at Lake Ashby. His body was recovered the next about 1 mile from the attack site. An 11 foot alligator suspected of the attack was later killed by a trapper.
    10. Sarasota County, Florida - May 4th 2001, 70 year old Samuel Wetmore's body discovered in pond near his home with 8'4" alligator was circling nearby. Mr. Wetmore died of blood loss and trauma.
    11. Polk County, Florida - June 23 2001, 2 year old Alexandria Murphy wondered away from her fenced back yard and was killed by a 6'6" alligator 700 feet from her home on Lake Cannon.
    12. Sanibel, Florida - September 11th 2001, 82 year old Robert Steele was attacked and killed while walking his dog on a trail between two wetland areas in the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. FWC officers later killed a 10'9" and 6' alligator.
    13. Lake County, Florida - June 18th 2003, 12 year old Brian Griffin was attacked while swimming near a boat ramp on the Dead River. The alligator was 10'4" long 339 pounds and was subsequently destroyed along with several other large gators.
    14. Sanibel Island, Florida - June 2004, 54 year old Janie Melsek was attacked and killed by a 12 foot long, 457 pound alligator, while working on landscaping.
    15. Lee County, Florida - 20 year old Michelle Reeves was killed by a 7'11" male alligator when she went swimming after midnight in a retention pond at Lee Memorial Health Park
    16. Lakeland, Florida - March 15th 2005, fishermen discovered the body of 56 year old Don Owen about 12 miles from his home, he had been missing since March 9th. Trappers later caught an 8'9" 300 pound alligator that had Mr. Owens forearm in it's stomach. It was later determined that the alligator had been fed by area residents which is illegal.
    17. Port Charlotte, Florida - July 15 2005, Kevin Albert Murray, 41, was swimming in the Apollo Waterway when a 12-foot alligator attacked and killed him.
    18. Sunrise Florida - May 10, 2006 Yovy Suarez Jimenez, 28, went out for an evening jog and was last seen dangling her feet over the water of a canal near her home. Her partially consumed body was found in the canal the following morning.


    umm... not to diminish anyone's life, but 18 attacks in 33 years is rather low... more people die from bee stings.
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    Jun 29, 2009 11:49 PM GMT
    calibro saidumm... not to diminish anyone's life, but 18 attacks in 33 years is rather low... more people die from bee stings.

    Why should ANYONE die from something as horrible as being eaten alive by an alligator, EVER? That's a pretty callous attitude.

    I didn't know about a 4-foot rule, mentioned above. This one was clearly at least 6 feet, and I said that to the Animal Control person. I may phone the SunSentinel newspaper, and get their opinion, to see whether I just had some lazy-ass incompetent on the phone.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 30, 2009 12:06 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    calibro saidumm... not to diminish anyone's life, but 18 attacks in 33 years is rather low... more people die from bee stings.

    Why should ANYONE die from something as horrible as being eaten alive by an alligator, EVER? That's a pretty callous attitude.

    I didn't know about a 4-foot rule, mentioned above. This one was clearly at least 6 feet, and I said that to the Animal Control person. I may phone the SunSentinel newspaper, and get their opinion, to see whether I just got some lazy-ass incompetent on the phone.


    I'm not saying anyone should be eaten by an alligator. But the fact remains that people have a disproportionate view of danger from creatures like alligators, sharks, etc... resulting in the over harvesting and unnecessary death of these creatures. Is it a shame that a person gets eaten by any animal? Of course! But the fact remains that posting every death by an alligator in the state of Florida over the last 33 years is a fear tactic. Common sense and safety is typically enough to prevent one from being attacked by an alligator. Rather than posting every death, it would be far more useful to post tips to avoid confrontation with such animals and what to do when you see one.
  • funguys

    Posts: 130

    Jun 30, 2009 12:16 AM GMT
    Red Vespa:
    Here is the link to more information about Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissions Alligator procedure. It also has the contact phone number if you want to have them consider the removal of the animal.

    http://myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Alligator_nuisance.htm
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    Jun 30, 2009 12:19 AM GMT
    calibro said...But the fact remains that people have a disproportionate view of danger from creatures like alligators, sharks, etc... resulting in the over harvesting and unnecessary death of these creatures.

    Not here in Florida. Alligators judged a risk are simply relocated out to the Everglades, where they can hob-nob with their fellow reptilians. The only ones killed are those thought to have actually eaten a human or a slew of pets, so they can be examined for evidence of what may have happened to a missing person or dogs feared to have been their last meal.
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    Jun 30, 2009 12:24 AM GMT
    funguys saidRed Vespa:
    Here is the link to more information about Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissions Alligator procedure. It also has the contact phone number if you want to have them consider the removal of the animal.

    http://myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Alligator_nuisance.htm

    Thanks! I will phone them tomorrow. I note the 4-foot guidance on the site. As I mentioned quite clearly on the phone, and more than once, this fellow I saw was a good 6 feet.
  • funguys

    Posts: 130

    Jun 30, 2009 12:25 AM GMT
    Calibro: Here are the tips (from http://www.broward.org)

    Living With Alligators

    Alligators and humans have shared the marshes, swamps and lakes of the southeastern United States for many centuries. Native Indians and early European pioneers occasionally utilized this reptile for food, but not until fashion markets began producing alligator skin products did this prehistoric reptile become heavily hunted. A century of unrestricted and unregulated hunting depleted most accessible populations. Even after the passage of State regulations governing the harvest of alligators during the 1940s, alligator populations continued to decline due to extensive poaching. It was not until 1970, when federal laws prohibited the interstate shipment of alligators, that these reptiles were afforded effective protection. The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 provided further support.

    Shortly after their protection began, alligators rapidly repopulated areas once heavily hunted. Surveys established by the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission indicated progressive increases from 1974 to 1985. During that same period Florida experienced tremendous human population growth. That trend continues today, with approximately 1,000 people moving to Florida daily. Many of these new residents seek homes on waterfront property, resulting in increased interactions between humans and alligators.

    Although most Floridians have learned to coexist with alligators, the potential for conflict always exists. Because of their predatory nature and large size, alligators can, and occasionally are attack victims and in rare instances are killed by large alligators. Between 1973 and 1990, 127 alligator attacks on human were documented with five of those resulting in fatalities. Although this number of attacks may seem high, they constitute a very small percentage of water-related incidents compared to those involving water skiing, scuba diving and boating mishaps. Even though human/alligator interactions rarely result in attacks, there are many precautions that people can take to reduce potential conflicts. This information provides everyday safety tips and "do/don't" suggestions for avoiding potential conflicts with alligators.

    Safety tips....

    The Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission receives nearly 10,000 alligator-related complaints annually. The vast majority of these complaints deal with alligators occurring in places such as garages, back yards, pools, golf-course water hazards and ditches. In many cases, if left unmolested, alligators eventually will retreat to more preferred habitats away from people. However, if you encounter an animal that poses a threat to human safety:

    DON'T- kill, harass, molest, or attempt to move the animal. State law prohibits such actions, and the potential for being bitten or injured by a thrashing alligator is high.

    DO- call a regional office of the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission. the Commission will evaluate you report and, if necessary, contact a licensed agent of the Commission and instruct him to remove the animal.

    Florida contains approximately 7,500 freshwater lakes and tens of thousands of acres of marsh and wooded swamp. Many of these areas attract people for a variety of water-related activities, including swimming, skiing, fishing and hunting. To ensure the time you spend in or around water does not result in conflicts with alligators:

    DON'T- swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might contain large alligators.

    DO- swim with a partner within all marked swimming areas. These areas are specifically situated and designed to reduce potential alligator/human conflicts.

    DON'T- swim at night or dusk when alligators most actively feed.

    DO- use ordinary common care. Swim during daylight hours. Avoid areas with thick vegetation along shorelines; these areas provide good natural habitat for large alligators.

    DON'T- feed or entice alligators. Alligators overcome their natural shyness and become accustomed or attracted to humans when fed.

    DO- inform others that feeding alligators is a violation of state law and that by feeding alligators, people create problems for others who want to use the water for recreational purposes.

    DON'T- throw fish scraps into the water or leave them on shore. Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators, the end result can be the same.

    DO- dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans situated at boat ramps or fish camps.

    DON'T- allow pets to swim in waters known to contain large alligators or in designated swimming areas with humans. Dogs suffer many more attacks than humans, probably because dogs more closely resemble natural prey items of large alligators.

    DO- swim your pets in areas not inhabited by large alligators. Keep your pet away from areas of heavy vegetation, and maintain your dog within command distance.

    Prior to their legal protection, alligators were sold in pet stores and souvenir shops as novelty items. Florida law now strictly protects alligators, and only specially licensed persons may possess a live alligator. Therefore, it is recommended that you:

    DON'T- remove any alligators from their natural habitat or accept one as a pet. It is a violation of state law to do so. Alligators do not become tame in captivity, and handling even small ones may result in bites.

    DO- enjoy seeing and photographing wild alligators. Remember, they're and important part of Florida's natural history, as well as an integral component of many wetland ecosystems.

    Based on fossil records, scientists have determined that crocodilians have existed for about 150 million years, surviving beyond dinosaurs and flying reptiles. Today, however, habitat destruction and indiscriminate hunting endanger many crocodilian species. In the United States, most alligator populations have rebounded from hunting and poaching pressure due to effective laws regulating the taking and transportation of alligators and alligator products. In Florida, rapidly increasing populations of both people and alligators have led to a progressive rise in the number of alligator-related complaints. Although the majority of problems with alligators relate to their being in places where they aren't wanted, a small number are tragically linked to alligator attacks. The Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission removes approximately 4,000 alligators per year to reduce opportunities for such tragic occurrences. Through the removal of these alligators and increased awareness on the part of the public, the number of alligator attacks that occur annually has remained constant in spite of the increases in alligator and human populations in Florida.

    Residents and visitors alike must realize that alligators are an important part of Florida's heritage, and that these prehistoric reptiles play an important role in the ecology of Florida's wetlands. An understanding of these facts and broader knowledge of alligator habits will ensure that humans and alligators continue their long-term coexistence.
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    Jun 30, 2009 12:29 AM GMT
    calibro said... But the fact remains that posting every death by an alligator in the state of Florida over the last 33 years is a fear tactic. Common sense and safety is typically enough to prevent one from being attacked by an alligator. Rather than posting every death, it would be far more useful to post tips to avoid confrontation with such animals and what to do when you see one.

    Well if you review each attack, it indicates the circumstances involved...what the victim was doing, or if the alligator had been fed by people, etc etc. So that's kind of like tips to avoid getting eaten, right? Maybe they should title it "Don't Do What These People Did".
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    Jun 30, 2009 1:50 AM GMT
    Well, at least we can be thankful that we just have gators. I bet the crocs down under munch way more people. In fact, I was trying to convince Matey that the latest American fad was sewing together a bunch of pork chops as a bathing suit and flicking a wet towel in a saltie's face.
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    Jun 30, 2009 8:06 AM GMT
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