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Study: Guns no more effective than pepper spray in bear encounters
Star-Tribune ^ | March 25, 2012 | KELSEY DAYTON

Posted on 03/25/2012 5:11:10 PM PDT by SJackson

LANDER — As bears begin to emerge from dens in the greater Yellowstone National Park ecosystem, a new study says carrying a gun into bear country doesn’t make you any safer.

Tom Smith, a professor of wildlife conservation at Brigham Young University, and fellow scientists studied 269 bear-human conflicts in Alaska for a paper appearing in the Journal of Wildlife Management. Those incidents involved 444 people and 357 bears, 300 of which were brown bears.

The team found firing a gun is no more effective in keeping people from injury or death during bear attacks than not using a firearm. Research didn’t find a statistical difference in outcome — injury, fatality or noninjury — when they compared those who used their gun in an aggressive encounter (229 instances) to those who had guns but did not use them (40 instances).

Smith found many people didn’t want to shoot a bear and often went through a decision-making process that took too long when a bear charged, Smith said.

“That reluctance is a built-in problem for this deterrent,” he said.

In his study, 24 percent of people who used guns were injured and of that group, 17 people were killed.

In a paper he wrote in 2007, after analyzing the use of bear spray as a deterrent, Smith found only three of 156 people involved in bear encounters who used spray were injured (less than 2 percent). And all of the injuries were minor, he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at trib.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
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1 posted on 03/25/2012 5:11:18 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: Iowa Granny; Ladysmith; Diana in Wisconsin; JLO; sergeantdave; damncat; phantomworker; joesnuffy; ..
If you’d like to be on or off this Outdoors/Rural/wildlife/hunting/hiking/backpacking/National Parks/animals list please FR mail me. And ping me is you see articles of interest.

I know there will be disagreement, but the author's underlying conclusion is correct. If you're not going to use a weapon, don't carry it. At least a bear won't take it away from you, though that's not much consolation.

2 posted on 03/25/2012 5:13:12 PM PDT by SJackson (I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes)
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To: SJackson
Use both, early and often.

Practice.

3 posted on 03/25/2012 5:13:18 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: SJackson

4 posted on 03/25/2012 5:18:26 PM PDT by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: Paladin2
Use both, early and often.

Amen. And if you can, call for arty and an airstrike. There is no reason to be cheap if you have to use force. Don't hesitate, use it all, until the threat doesn't exist.

/johnny

5 posted on 03/25/2012 5:18:48 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SJackson

I prefer guns with bullets coated with pepper spray.

Don’t forget to tie little bells on your shoes . . .

LOL!


6 posted on 03/25/2012 5:19:35 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: SJackson

I’ll take the gun, thanks.

And I *will* use it!


7 posted on 03/25/2012 5:19:43 PM PDT by sauropod (You can elect your very own tyranny - Mark Levin)
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To: SJackson

It isn’t less safe if you are shooting a .460 S&W Magnum at the bear instead of a 9mm.


8 posted on 03/25/2012 5:19:46 PM PDT by rlmorel (A knife in the chest from a unapologetic liberal is preferable to a knife in the back from a RINO.)
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To: SJackson

Person to self...”I don’t wanna shoot the poor widdle cuddly bear. Maybe he won’t hurt me.”
Bear to self...”Yum...easy dinner”


9 posted on 03/25/2012 5:23:14 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: rlmorel

You still need to be cool and good enough to hit that roaring, charging, bouncing bear between the eyes.


10 posted on 03/25/2012 5:24:59 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: SJackson

I tend to agree. A firearm (or any other defensive tool) is useless if you’re not willing to use it when the moment arrives to do so. I don’t know how effective Bear pepper spray is, but it’s got to be better than a holstered pistol.


11 posted on 03/25/2012 5:24:59 PM PDT by DemforBush (A Repo man is *always* intense!)
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To: Petruchio

Remember to always be on the look out for bear poop.
You can tell it’s bear poop because it’s got little
bells in it and it smells like pepper spray.


12 posted on 03/25/2012 5:25:22 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I loved the story about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and their encounters with the BIG grizzly bears back then as related by Stephen Ambrose in his book “Undaunted Courage”.

He talks about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and when they went further west, they began to encounter enormous grizzly bears, the likes of which they had never seen. I don’t doubt this, because being the apex predator that they are, they had probably grown to enormous sizes without a lot of interference from humans.

They made it clear to the Indians who befriended them that they were going to go out and hunt these bears, the Indians were astonished, and communicated to them in every way possible that doing so was an extremely risky and foolhardy endeavor. Apparently, they couldn’t believe these white people were crazy enough to do that.

Lewis and Clark were “undaunted” by the admonitions, and made it clear that they were perfectly confident because of the advanced weaponry that they carried with them, that the Indians did not have… their rifles.

I imagine that if I were there, I could just see the Indians turning to each other and shrugging their shoulders, saying the equivalent of “Well, I guess it’s their ass…”

When they came across a particularly large specimen of these grizzly bears by the side of a river, they set upon it and begin shooting it. The way the story goes as I recall, at one point there were 12 guys firing away with these black powder guns, and ended up throwing down their guns and running into the river to try to escape while this massive grizzly bear chased after them into the water.

I do believe that there was illustration that one of the party had drawn of this incident at the time, and it showed a grizzly bear standing on its hind legs in the middle of a large spread out ring of frontiersmen all firing their weapons in what looked for all intents and purposes like a circular firing squad, except that all their rifles were pointed up at what looked to be at least a 45° angle. The bear, standing erect on its hind legs, with the perspective of the amateur artist looked to be, oh, say, 30 feet tall, with both of its forepaws straight up in the air with claws extended! I think I’ve always been surprised that the artist didn’t make the bear appear to be 100 feet tall, rivaling Godzilla…

What was really funny though, was the dry log entry by one of the guys that basically said “We decided to avoid encountering those types of beasts in the future…”

It reminded me of the other entry later on their journey, when they reached the Columbia River. Now anyone who pays attention to these things knows that the Columbia River in those days was a particularly wild River, so when Lewis and Clark made it clear to the Native Americans out in that area that they intended to take their funny looking (funny looking to the Indians at least) wooden boats down the river, the Indians again must’ve looked at each other in astonishment and said “These pale faced white people are absolutely insane…”

Sure enough, on the day went down the river, there were hundreds and hundreds of Indians lining both sides of the river to watch the spectacle of these white guys completely destroy themselves… it promised to be a real show. This has to be one of the times though, where Lewis and Clark really did know what they were doing, and the Indians were extremely impressed and again, astonished in a positive way, that these guys in their buckskins and funny looking wooden boats actually made it down the boiling white water river.


13 posted on 03/25/2012 5:25:22 PM PDT by rlmorel (A knife in the chest from a unapologetic liberal is preferable to a knife in the back from a RINO.)
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To: SJackson

Hesitation is a common problem when stressed and something they try to train out of people in the military. It is easy to stand there too long thinking when a decision needs to be made in a heartbeat. While the premise of the article seems silly at first glance, I found I could see what they were saying about the hesitation.


14 posted on 03/25/2012 5:29:10 PM PDT by dog breath
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To: Petruchio

Read the story of Hugh Glass trapper and scout.

http://www.rosyinn.com/more005.html

Interesting that one of the men left with him
was a very young jim Bridger.


15 posted on 03/25/2012 5:34:02 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: rlmorel

You are probably familiar with Parkman’s “Oregon Trail”, which has a similar account of plains grizzlies encounters in the late 1840s.

I live adjacent to prime griz habitat(Purcell Conservancy) and see grizzlies and their cubs most summers. They are magnificent creatures.

And fast. Faster than you would think.


16 posted on 03/25/2012 5:35:52 PM PDT by headsonpikes (Mass murder and cannibalism are the twin sacraments of socialism - "Who-whom?"-Lenin)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I’m with you on that, but...I would feel better with that gun in my hand rather than the can of pepper spray as the charging, bouncing bear advances!!!


17 posted on 03/25/2012 5:36:17 PM PDT by rlmorel (A knife in the chest from a unapologetic liberal is preferable to a knife in the back from a RINO.)
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To: dog breath
Hesitation is a common problem when stressed and something they try to train out of people in the military.

Yes it is. And if you're going to wait till he (or she) is upon you, bring a couple friends with spray.

18 posted on 03/25/2012 5:39:50 PM PDT by SJackson (I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
You still need to be cool and good enough to hit that roaring, charging, bouncing bear between the eyes.

Yes, they don't stand still do they. And the sholders move the head.

19 posted on 03/25/2012 5:42:14 PM PDT by SJackson (I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes)
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To: magslinger

“...give advance warning to any bears...” WTH??

Give me a Beowulf .50cal over “little noisy bells” or pepper spray, any day!


20 posted on 03/25/2012 5:43:25 PM PDT by carriage_hill (I'll "vote for an orange juice can", over Barry 0bummer and another 4yrs of his Regime From Hell!)
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To: DemforBush
I don’t know how effective Bear pepper spray is, but it’s got to be better than a holstered pistol.

It's effective, and many times not, but better than a holstered pistol. Handgun not being my first choice.

21 posted on 03/25/2012 5:43:38 PM PDT by SJackson (I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes)
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To: SJackson

I carry my .500 Linebaugh revolver when in bear country. I practice often and compete in cowboy action shooting and will not hesitate.


22 posted on 03/25/2012 5:45:57 PM PDT by Okieshooter
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To: headsonpikes

By all accounts, they are scary fast. I chuckle when I see a man being chased by a bear in a movie...I always think “No Way.”


23 posted on 03/25/2012 5:47:51 PM PDT by rlmorel (A knife in the chest from a unapologetic liberal is preferable to a knife in the back from a RINO.)
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To: SJackson
Wiping your ass with toilet paper has no effect on wiping your ass either!

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees! What these stupid anti-gun zealots won't come up with to stop people from carrying a firearm!

These same idiots who conducted the study have never encountered a bear in their stupid lives! I personally chased a black bear with cups from our back porch, she did not stand her ground until she reached the edge of the woods, this is when I knew she would would not budge no further and left her alone!

Most bears are more afraid of you than you are of them, if you respect most animals they will respect you. Having a firearm with you is always excellent insurance inspite of some liberal crap trap study that suggests other wise!

24 posted on 03/25/2012 5:48:55 PM PDT by paratrooper82 (We are kicking Ass in Afghanistan, soon we will be home to kick some more Asses in Congress!)
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To: rlmorel
...bear standing on its hind legs ...

Reminds me of an article in which the author recounts his family's trip to Yellowstone.

His father stood underneath a bear, holding up an open jar of honey, while the bear steadied himself with his forepaws on the father's shoulders to get at the jar.

25 posted on 03/25/2012 5:54:41 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: rlmorel

The L&C Party ate dogs.


26 posted on 03/25/2012 5:57:26 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: SJackson

I think pepper spray is more effective than most people think.

Still I think I would prefer a hot loaded S&W model 29 (hard cast Keith style 240 grain bullet) with a 5 inch barrel.

I would rather have an even more powerful handgun but then you start talking about so much weight, one might not carry it.


27 posted on 03/25/2012 6:01:01 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: SJackson
"He who hestistates has lost."

My Dad.

28 posted on 03/25/2012 6:01:12 PM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: Okieshooter

You can carry your pistols - if I’m in bear country, it’s my 7.62mm M1A/M-14 with 20-round magazine or nothing!


29 posted on 03/25/2012 6:05:26 PM PDT by Chainmail
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To: SJackson

Pepper spray is more effecitive on bear than a gun....after the bear is shot, dressed and cooked.


30 posted on 03/25/2012 6:10:31 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: paratrooper82

What kind of cups? Tea, measuring, sports?


31 posted on 03/25/2012 6:13:43 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. De Vattel)
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To: SJackson
When you're in the woods and you hear the leaves rustle and nearby branches cracking, you best be ready with whatever you have. It could be deer, elk, moose, bear, mountain lion, coyotes or wolves; ANY of which can cause you serious harm.

A local person wrote recently of his and his wife's experience falling when about five miles down the trail and breaking bones and ribs in the process. It's not an easy trek back to the vehicle in that event (they had bicycles they could not ride because of their injuries) and iffy if any cellphone coverage. Two-way radios are a good back-up plan for such woodsy excursions.

Those who have bear spray should note the cannisters have expiration dates. I wouldn't want to "test" the efficiency of this product when it is most needed.

32 posted on 03/25/2012 6:14:48 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: carriage_hill

You will notice the warning didn’t say anything about brass or weapons in the grizz scat.


33 posted on 03/25/2012 6:18:59 PM PDT by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: Chainmail

If I knew I was going to run into a dangerous brown bear, I would carry nothing less than rifle in .375 H&H. I might take one of those Marlin Guide Guns in 45-70 if I had tested it enough to know it was reliable.


34 posted on 03/25/2012 6:20:48 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: DemforBush
but it’s got to be better than a holstered pistol

It is, and works on human threats too... and very effectively.

Temporarily blinded, respiratory system burning, chocking, possibly vomiting, most end up on the ground and can be of no threat to you or yours. Better yet, close in most cases is more than accurate enough to stop anyone.... not always the case with a firearm.

Seems to work on alligators too. My mom used it down in FLA (or Louisiana) when she was walking their greyhound at a camp ground. A very large alligator popped on the walking tail one evening. She bear sprayed it and it backed off real quick.

It is now one of the Christmas gifts I give them. A large can of bear spray each. Only about $30 so it is cheap too.

No target practice either. It a user can spray a garden hose or Pam they can use bear spray reasonably well. Seems to hold up in the can well too. My wife tried a 3 year old can in the basement. It still worked... and if you only spray a 3 second blast that is all you will have used... and still have plenty left for the next target... or the first it he/she has any fight left in them.
But they won't.
Once they are down if you feel you still need to shoot them they are an easier target when they are blinded and laying on the ground and can't see you any more.

The basement test showed though, that be sure you know where your exits are when you spray in the home. :-)
No worry though, it is just pepper elements and it non poisonous. It will not affect your genes or DNA nor have any other long term effect a human.
35 posted on 03/25/2012 6:21:31 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: yarddog

There should be a shell with pepper spray and buckshot.


36 posted on 03/25/2012 6:21:49 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: SJackson
Ah, Herr Professor, if you don't think guns aren't any more effective than pepper spray, how about walking around in bear country without any?

Personally, I want the biggest and baddest cannon I can carry: .44 or .50 S&W Magnum, or a self-loading rifle with a magazine full of .308 Win. 180-grain or 220-grain .30-06 jacketed hollow points, or a Saiga shotgun with a 12 round magazine loaded with Brenneke slugs. If you're going to a bear confrontation, bring a gun. Better, bring two guns. Better still, bring all your friends with guns.

37 posted on 03/25/2012 6:29:37 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: rlmorel
I would feel better with that gun in my hand rather than the can of pepper spray as the charging, bouncing bear advances!!!

You may be a better shot than most, and cooler when being charged by a large fast Giizz... most are not even good on a target, let alone in a stress situation.
With the pepper spray close is usually good enough... not the case with a gun.
38 posted on 03/25/2012 6:32:03 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: rlmorel
I would feel better with that gun in my hand rather than the can of pepper spray as the charging, bouncing bear advances!!!

You may be a better shot than most, and cooler when being charged by a large fast Griz... most are not even good on a target, let alone in a stress situation.
With the pepper spray close is usually good enough... not the case with a gun.
39 posted on 03/25/2012 6:32:20 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: SJackson
There are handguns and then there are handguns.
40 posted on 03/25/2012 6:33:26 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: SJackson
The team found firing a gun is no more effective in keeping people from injury or death during bear attacks than not using a firearm.

Depends on whether you kill the bear with the firearm. My son took out a grizzly that was raiding his tree-planting camp kitchen in northern BC with a shotgun. Absolutely no chance of injury or death from that bear attack. I'll go with a firearm 7 days a week.
41 posted on 03/25/2012 6:34:01 PM PDT by caveat emptor (Zippity Do Dah)
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To: SJackson

Who wants to deter a bear? With the right weapon, you can eliminate the problem and cook dinner at the same time.

42 posted on 03/25/2012 6:35:41 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: SJackson

One simply cannot derive the conslusion they presented, based upon the facts in evidence!


43 posted on 03/25/2012 6:38:23 PM PDT by 2harddrive
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To: Okieshooter
.500 Linebaugh revolver

That'll work.
44 posted on 03/25/2012 6:38:36 PM PDT by sasquatch
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To: caveat emptor

Someone pointed out that all you need is a .22 pistol. Shoot your partner in the leg so that you can out-run him.


45 posted on 03/25/2012 6:40:22 PM PDT by aviator (Armored Pest Control)
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To: rlmorel
.460 S&W Magnum

Those are FUN to shoot. And yeah, it would hurt a bear in a serious way. The ammo resembles rifle rounds, LOL!


46 posted on 03/25/2012 6:41:56 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (If my candidate doesn't win the nomination I'm going to kick my feet, cry like a baby, and stay home)
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To: SJackson

Another government/environmentalist study that only lacks the stamp of approval by Mann, Hansen, Jones or other self acclaimed and infallible expert!


47 posted on 03/25/2012 6:42:21 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: SJackson

Spray and pray?


48 posted on 03/25/2012 6:43:41 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Pollster1

Google “Dragon’s Breath” ammo.

Burnt Bruin!


49 posted on 03/25/2012 6:46:20 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: SJackson

Of course with sea bears, you need an anti-sea bear circle.

50 posted on 03/25/2012 6:47:16 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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