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TheDarkCynder

Rats, Ferrets, Snakes, other exotic animals.

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Not the most exotic of pets, but we got two rabbits several years ago, from a place in Cornwall that gave them to us for free.

 

I got a text last night (I was out with my boyfriend) that Dottle, the rabbit I picked out, had died. sad.gif

 

Patch (the second rabbit, that my brother chose) seems to still be fine, but I'm betting that his days are numbered as well, since we got them at the same time.

 

We're going to bury him in the back garden.

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The coolest pet I ever had (sorta) and the one I want again: a hedgehog. My roommate in college was determined to have a furry pet, dorm rules notwithstanding, so we brainstormed what would be easy to hide. A flying squirrel was a serious contender, but Aiden the hedgie was perfect. He lived in a giant Rubbermaid tub (the same as we already had around for storage), he didn't smell much (less than rodents), he didn't make any sounds other than huffing when annoyed, and he was nocturnal just like us. Which was good, because hedgehogs turn out to be surprisingly athletic after dark. We joked he was training for a triathalon, because he would run for hours in his wheel, he would try to climb anything, and he liked swimming. He was nice company to have when up all night writing papers, and it was adorable the way he would curl up on my chest to nap with me in the afternoons.

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My time to shine, living in outback Aus has an upside.

The list includes (but is not limited to):

Dogs

Cats (And a recent litter of kittens)

1 cow (1 bull jumped the back fence never to been seen again)

A small handful of pigs

Dozens of chickens

Soon to be a flock Guineafowl (Incubating >10 eggs atm nearing 1 month mark)

and a duck we've affectionately named Satan.

Edited by sevenstorms

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I'd like a serval or a caracal someday.

Yes, I know they pee on everything including you, they're big wild cats, etc. I'm getting land, she'll have room to run, and they've been domesticated long enough for domesticated bloodlines to emerge. Male dogs pee on everything and sometimes people, too.

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I've got three hermit crabs, not exactly by pure choice initially, though I've grown to think they're good pets because of their care requirements, and the fact that they don't care to be handled. Initially, I got two crabs when the mother of the two boys who owned them sort of blackmailed me into taking them because they were moving away. The kids didn't trust anyone else to handle the animals responsibly, though upon researching their care initially, the crabs weren't exactly in the best environment, even with the original owners. The kids handled them gently and let the crabs walk on their palms, but their pen contained gravel and they lacked a salt bath, and the pen in general was just too tiny. The water was also filled with chlorine, and fish flakes weren't ideal for the nutrient requirements.

 

I wound up taking a large cement mixing tub, putting a frame around it, placing panes of acrylic glass across the top, and then using that as a pen. I use clean play sand for the crab's substrate, and always look around for pretty, nice-looking shells that a crab would like. Their old pen that they lived in now acts as an isolation area, where I place them on a substrate of really deep sand that I keep damp when there's a crab there, so they can molt free of stress.

 

Sadly, one crab molted immediately after I got him because he suddenly had better nutrition, proper moisture, and a less-stressful environment, but because he shed before I could isolate him, he died when the other crabs harassed him. Before his death, I got a third crab so I'd have three, a little baby-sized one, and after the first death, the baby crab started showing pre-molt, and I managed to isolate him before he shed. The crab took about two weeks and then he was ready to go back with the other.

 

Following the baby molting crab, the other one I got from the two kids began digging and flailing out of his shell, so I isolated him in the pen next, and after about a month after burying himself, he popped out of the sand, perfectly fine, and with all regenerated leg-tips and hairs.

 

So the final, third crab I got was a rescue from a pet store. He was in good health, he had good color and such, but he was alone in his pen and stuck in a pit of gravel, some of his legs were broken off at the tip, and his shell was not appropriate for a crab his size, and the long, trailing end on it kept catching on his leg. I had two crabs, the one from the boys and the little baby, but I think three is the best number, because if one molts, the ones that aren't molting don't have to be completely alone when I isolate that crab.

 

 

At any rate, since then, my two larger crabs have changed their shells. They now have nice, thick shells that are comfortable sizes, pretty in appearance, and deep enough where they can tuck all the way inside, versus hanging out half-way, because the previous shells were too small for them to even fit. I went crazy looking for the shells, because crabs are really fussy over what they want. It wasn't until I got some really nice, uncommon ones at a yard sale that these switches actually started happening.

 

 

At any rate, this is how things go when you have crabs. They don't interact much with their owners, but they've got their own little world.

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Over the years we've had cats, dogs, fish, snakes, rats, mice (not ALL were feeders), guinea pigs, a Desert Tortoise with a broken leg, parakeets...  I don't think that I'm leaving anything out...

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My oldest son inherited a ferret from a friend that was moving to where he couldn't keep it.  It was friendly with us and he had it for years...

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The only ferret I've ever met was the one my neighbors had when I was about 10. I don't remember his name, I'm thinking maybe he didn't have one? But I do remember thinking he was really cute and sitting in front of his cage in the basement and watching him. I was a little scared of him once he was out of the cage though :P 

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Not exactly exotic as a reptile but I keep freshwater fish, I keep several species which are: angels, mbuna/demasoni cichlid, rainbow fish, a blue crayfish, and a blue gourami.

Image result for golden angelfishImage result for Demasoni CichlidImage result for rainbow fishImage result for blue crayfishImage result for blue gourami (Googled images, not my fish - just members of their species)

I know angels are kinda dicey for community tanks but it's a large tank with lots of foliage in the back, open spaces, and holes small fish can hide in if they feel the need. Plus my angels are rather docile so i'm doing pretty well. Everyone gets along really well.

 

The water quality is pretty standard and stable and everyone is pretty healthy, they're fed a diet of fish flakes, pellets, and vegetarian flakes for the Mbuna.

 

In the long term I hope to get a rope-fish, they're live feeders though so that's gonna take a back seat to other things.

.Image result for ropefish

 

 

I'd say the best part about keeping fish is satisfaction and the fish themselves of course, i'd compare it to dragon cave in a way, you start small with a tank and slowly build up until you have a gorgeous tank with your little buddies swimming about.

 

Also the water, the waterfall filters, the fish are very relaxing to watch, I have tiny anxiety issues and they tend to go away when I watch my fish, they're so alien and relaxing to watch gliding around.

 

Also having fish with personality is great, angelfish in particular have a lot to them, they're completely unafraid of me approaching the tank and when I walk from one side to the other they follow me, and when i'm not there they're usually doing something, you might not see that side of angels when you go to a fish store because they are a bit shy but once they get used to you you see a whole new side to em.

 

The worst part is the upkeep and the fragility, the tank requires special water (tap water is not acceptable but can be treated with store-bought kits), huge attention to things like germs (ya can't just stick your arm in), chemicals like soap and whatever's on your hand are always something to worry about, upkeep is hard too, you need to keep a filter, test the water routinely to make sure the water quality is stable - which involves putting some water into tiny vials and dropping some chemicals that change color, inspecting the color and writing down the numbers and planning accordingly for the next water change.

You also have to worry about your fish getting sick, there are medications but fish are fragile so treatment is not always gonna fix them.

 

 

 

 

I do like certain other exotics though, I don't have any other exotics besides the fish (if you consider them exotic, Mbuna are kinda rare in the trade so I suppose so that's something)

 

if we're going deep into exotics ravens are probably my favorite animal, I like em because they're funny, VERY smart, cute/pretty, and have cool mythology behind them, the macabre angle is also there I guess but it's not as interesting as the other reasons.Though I could never own one for myself, ravens are sure niche and require experience with corvids.

 

I also like snakes, I don't think I could care for one though. My pet store has some really cool ones like the ball pythons which are common but are also super adorable and have a lot of cool morphs but they also have sunbeam snakes which are awesome to actually see in person (they hide all the time so they're a little boring though) and also Rainbow Boas, they're kinda like sunbeams but they don't hide as much and are easier to care for from what I've read.

 

If I where to have a snake i'd probably want a rainbow boa.

c28eb8ec84c3cc97821e8835c94519ec.jpg

Lovely markings and shine, I would probably name mine "Quetzalcoatl" if I had one, it's too perfect of a mythology reference to pass up!

Image result for sunbeam snake

Beautiful but difficult, the duller colors and lack of markings really show off it's star feature.

Emotionally speaking, sunbeam snakes would be cooler since their rainbows have a bit more pop but they hate being handled, hide all the time, and are generally hard to care for so their colors ar hidden away most of the time.

 

I don't actually know if I could keep a snake though, Live feeding of mice and stuff sounds awful and I don't know much about snakes other than a few short bursts of curiosity induced Google searches for info on them so i'm probably never getting one but I find snakes interesting.

My favorite snake species is probably the black mamba due to how OP they are but a black mamba as a pet would not end well for me or anyone nearby :)

 

 

If I could have ANY exotic animal as pet, no issues with temperament or upkeep prices i'd..Actually, you know what? Forget the tigers and foxes, I want a golden goose so I could get rich!

Edited by blockEdragon

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10 hours ago, blockEdragon said:

I don't actually know if I could keep a snake though, Live feeding of mice and stuff sounds awful and I don't know much about snakes other than a few short bursts of curiosity induced Google searches for info on them so i'm probably never getting one but I find snakes interesting.

 

Actually it's not recommended to feed live, as it puts your snake at risk of injury and possible parasitic infection. Thawing out and then warming frozen rodents is better for them with the bonus of being easier for the keeper. If you'd like a rainbow boa someday, they're actually less work to keep than your fish as long as you've got the proper type of enclosure. I'd recommend some more research on their care and upkeep specifically, and see if that's something you can handle before dismissing the idea entirely.

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2 hours ago, Kith said:

 

Actually it's not recommended to feed live, as it puts your snake at risk of injury and possible parasitic infection. Thawing out and then warming frozen rodents is better for them with the bonus of being easier for the keeper. If you'd like a rainbow boa someday, they're actually less work to keep than your fish as long as you've got the proper type of enclosure. I'd recommend some more research on their care and upkeep specifically, and see if that's something you can handle before dismissing the idea entirely.

This is true, and it's a lot easier to handle on a personal level to feed f/t versus live. But that doesn't mean it's an always acceptable alternative-- case in point, snakes that were raised on live (especially ball pythons) will more often than not, if not always, refuse frozen/thawed prey. I had to rehome my own pet snake specifically because she outright refused anything that wasn't live and was willing to starve herself. I always supervised the entire process specifically to make sure the snake didn't get injured, but it wore me down since I keep pet rats of my own. 

 

So, case in point, although f/t is safer for your snake, be aware that not all snakes will accept this method. Many snakes will, and some species are more open to it than others. The easiest way to guarantee that a snake will take f/t is to verify with the breeder than they were raised on f/t from hatching. 

 

My plan is to next get a Kenyan sand boa since they're readily accepting of f/t (also, their faces are SO CUTE). But that'll probably some time in the future after all the rats have passed on. 

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1 hour ago, Kith said:

 

Actually it's not recommended to feed live, as it puts your snake at risk of injury and possible parasitic infection. Thawing out and then warming frozen rodents is better for them with the bonus of being easier for the keeper. If you'd like a rainbow boa someday, they're actually less work to keep than your fish as long as you've got the proper type of enclosure. I'd recommend some more research on their care and upkeep specifically, and see if that's something you can handle before dismissing the idea entirely.

Well that sounds good.

I think having one would be cool, I had a turtle and some anoles when I was younger (the anoles died of old age and the turtle got way bigger than we where told it would and gave it to a guy with an established fenced in pond, probably better than a tank anyway.) but I've already got the fish, and the dogs and setup sounds expensive, sites are mentioning mandatory checkups at a specialist vet which is a bit much.

 

But realistically as cool as a snake might be it's never gonna happen for me, I have a family member that is iffy about a ropefish let-alone a snake, no matter how docile and non-venomous I tell her they are they're always gross slimy monsters in her eyes. It's nice of you to chat though so thank you.

Image result for ropefish

Plus I already have the enclosure for it cycled, inhabited, and ready to go. Also a smaller tank to keep it's feeder fish, all i need now is to secure the tank since long eel-ish fish are master escape artists and these guys are unafraid of the land due to being able to breathe air. 

They actually require live food (at least at first) so that's gonna be a little sad but it's a requirement of the fish and nature is nature, once it's a bit older and more acclimated to tank life it can acclimate to frozen/dried/pellet foods so that's good.

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@hazeh

I was meaning in more of a general way, but you are certainly correct. Some live-fed snakes can be swapped over to f/t eventually (sometimes requiring freshly pre-killed in between), but some just don't, and I'm sorry you had to have that experience. :(

 

@blockEdragon

Not a problem. While it'd be nice if you could have both, I understand that in your circumstances the rope-fish would be a better choice. Hopefully it ends up being just as fulfilling for you as a snake would've been. :)

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3 minutes ago, Kith said:

@hazeh

I was meaning in more of a general way, but you are certainly correct. Some live-fed snakes can be swapped over to f/t eventually (sometimes requiring freshly pre-killed in between), but some just don't, and I'm sorry you had to have that experience. :(

 

@blockEdragon

Not a problem. While it'd be nice if you could have both, I understand that in your circumstances the rope-fish would be a better choice. Hopefully it ends up being just as fulfilling for you as a snake would've been. :)

Aw don't worry, i'm not that serious about a snake, I was bring them upt because it seemed like a fun chat (this was rather interesting) I've been all over the rope fish seen for a lot longer (i'd be getting one either way) I like the prehistoric looking bony fish and rope-fish have interested me since I first saw one, the whole "if I can't have a snake" bit isn't serious, I actually really like rope-fish as their own thing.

 

Maybe someday i'll get a snake, maybe not. It's not a big deal if I can't get one though.

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1 hour ago, Kith said:

@hazeh

I was meaning in more of a general way, but you are certainly correct. Some live-fed snakes can be swapped over to f/t eventually (sometimes requiring freshly pre-killed in between), but some just don't, and I'm sorry you had to have that experience. :(

Oh I figured. Sorry if I implied otherwise! I just want to make sure other people don't end up in my boat, since giving her up royally sucked. But between her outgrowing her enclosure and me having breakdowns over giving her dinner, I figured it was best for her to go to someone who can handle all that. It certainly was a learning experience, though (i'd been too spoiled by my eagerly f/t fed corn snake), to not assume snakes can be readily alternated with their food. 

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I have a leopard gecko who is about 2 years old, hes my baby boy. but i wanted really a bearded dragon but i didnt have the room for one and plus a little more high maintenance. but other then that i really do like geckos i may want another one in near future if its possible.  

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Well the most exotic pet i had was a wild bird this year.No did not catch it to raise but did rescue it from our garage  a week or so before the fourth of July. it was of course a baby an on the forth of JKuly went up to our garden an saw this haft grown bird catching bugs an it came close to me an my family.We had more fun watching that baby bird than the fireworks lol. For about a month after that when i would go outside this baby bird we think it was a house finch would fly down an walk with me catching the bugs that i disturbed.We named the bird WoodStock lol.Now i  guess he or she grew up for the bird does not come around no more.Wish i could see WoodStock though .:)

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I have five pet ferrets. I've had ferrets since late in high school, around 2010. It was quite a journey.

 

My first was a dark-eyed white that we got at discount because she was already a year old and her owner couldn't care for her. We named her Flower. I loved her so much. My whole family did. She was the life of our house. Flower sadly died a year later from an illness that our vet could not discern, but she had stopped eating and drinking and eventually became catatonic until our vet put her to sleep. It was one of my worst days, the day I first started working.

 

Half a year after we first got Flower, my bro begged for a ferret too. So we found a baby sable ferret and got her. She was named (and started the trend of long names) Lucy Bandito Three-Tears...or Bandit, for short. Bro trained her and she is his "shoulder ferret". Even old, she can race around with the kids like no other. There doesn't seem to be an end to her energy. She is my brother's baby and the most beloved pet he has ever had. She is currently 8 years old, still alive though very wobbly and clumsy now.

 

Bandit would be alone for a year after Flower died before we found another ferret. Despite our best efforts, no white ferrets could be found, so we got a young champagne that we named Smore. Bandit loved her. Smore was my baby. She loved sugar. She dove off my shoulder once into a bowl of ice cream in my lap at my computer desk. It was a mess. She stole candy. She was mischievous. She got out of the cage once (still have no clue how she did it) and ended up on my bed when I got home from work once. I loved her so much. Smore passed away late last June in my arms from old age, on the couch with me for four hours watching Naked and Afraid with my mother.

 

We swore not to get more ferrets. Bandit was old and wouldn't be able to outlive another playmate. It would be cruel.

 

...

 

Three days later, we came home with Whisper. She was scared and jumped at every noise. We had to speak in a whisper around her, which was how she got her name. She quickly turned into a shout though, but the name had stuck. She is currently my fat baby, the heaviest ferret we own. Big and silvery and mischievous. And a huge pig when it comes to the Ferrevite, a syrupy treat I give them when I clip claws.

 

A month after we got Whisper, after a lot of guilt over the assumption that Bandit would die soon and leave Whisper alone...we got Snicket. Lemony Sunshine Snicket. A cute blonde-furred baby that my mom connected to the instant she held her. My mom has never connected to ferrets and that was the only reason Snicket came home with us that day. Snicket is skinny and squirrelly, the one that will aim for yours toes and socks long after the nipping phase was over. She will bear-hug your leg and climb up the bookshelf to get your attention. She will not be denied.

 

We thought we were good...until Bandit stayed alive through winter. And spring. And then mom made the mistake of browsing Craigslist. Her setting for white ferrets were still there from after Flower died. Somehow, she enabled a search that brought up our final two ferrets.

 

Rosie the albino and Lily Adams, who we swear is some kind of distant sister to Snicket. A pair of two-year-old girls owned by a classmate of mine who needed them rehomed because he couldn't handle their energy level. We went in order to help him figure out ferret details since he had only ever owned a young male ferret, not two squirrelly females. We...ended up bringing them home with us. Permanently. We stay in touch with my classmate and he's happy that they're happy.

 

So now we have two squirmy one-year-olds, two energetic two-year-olds, and an eight-year-old that's just enjoying the extra warmth in her hammock. And we love them all.

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On 9/22/2018 at 3:43 PM, animatedrose said:

I have five pet ferrets. I've had ferrets since late in high school, around 2010. It was quite a journey.

 

-snip-

So now we have two squirmy one-year-olds, two energetic two-year-olds, and an eight-year-old that's just enjoying the extra warmth in her hammock. And we love them all.

This is like, the cutest, sweetest thing I've ever read. I'm begging you for some photos!

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@hazeh I'll try to locate some on my comp and put them up here for you guys to see! Just give me a few mins. :)

 

EDIT: Here's the two-year-olds and the one-year-olds. From left to right on this pile--Whisper, Lily (top), Snickett (bottom), and Rosie. Bandit is buried under that pile. This is frequent for them despite having three separate hammocks on a four-floor vertical cage. Just all piling into the same hammock.

snuggle pile 1.jpeg

Edited by animatedrose
added photo

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@animatedrose Gosh, your story about all your ferrets was so heartwarming and adorable! I've always really loved ferrets, but I haven't gotten any myself. Last year our local pet store had a a birthday event and a local breeder brought their ferrets for show there and good lord.... I felt like losing my mind, they were SO cute!! I love the picture you posted, such a cute pile of ferret. Adorable! Since I don't know a lot about keeping ferrets, I'm curious about their habitat - are they free-roaming all the time or do you keep them in their cage when the house is empty/at night? I believe a pack of ferrets like this can cause quite a chaos if they want! 

 

Oh and since rabbits are also considered exotics I guess, here's some recent photos of my fluff baby, Peka:

kQVOXKi.png

(nope, not dead, just having a VERY relaxing nap)

ajPBOyc.png

meeting face-to-face with my parents' cat for the first time (Frodo the cat is SO cute with Peka, last weekend there we let him in Peka's enclosure again and he kept softly pushing him and rolling over to his side right next to Peka, while meowing softly!)

Hlnld97.png

Peka saying "this is mine" about the new branch bridge my mom bought him

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@hedy I keep them in their cage when I can't monitor them. We have a solid wood gate that we block my bedroom door with so they have free run of that for a few hours a day. Sometimes if my family is free, we'll close the bedroom and bathroom doors and let them roam the house. If it's warm out, we have an outdoor cage that we put them in so they can have outdoor time. It's getting cold here though (Minnesota kid here, meep), so we've sealed that up to protect it against moisture.

 

Also, here is Bandit since you can't see her in the previous photo. Granted, this was when she was younger almost seven years ago. She's still this bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even as a wobbly old crone. :)

 

 

100_5998.JPG

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At one point in my life I was delivering bundles of Wall Street Journal papers to distribution points throughout the LA area.

 

I had told some of the people about my snake, 'Sir Giles', a 3-1/2 foot Gopher snake that I caught in my driveway in Riverside county.  One night, I put him in a small  cage and brought him along in the truck with me.  Most people were kinda freaked out about him, but I showed them how easy he was to handle.  I NEVER forced anyone to touch him, but I did encourage them to do so to see that he wasn't slimy, etc...  If they refused,no problem.  After I got him used to me, he never bit me, did a few times at first, but when he realized I wasn't going to hurt him, he became calmer.  I've been bitten a number of times in my life (none poisonous, thankfully) but never developed any infections, etc.  I just washed the bite area when I got home and that was it.  I did catch a few Rattlesnakes and ate them, but after 2 or 3 I just let them be or moved them to less populated areas.  One 40"+ female Red Diamondback I have photos of her head within 6 inches of my tennis shoe clad foot, before I moved her away.  I took the photos myself while looking straight down at her moving towards me...  Please note!!!  I knew what I was doing and did not feel to be in any danger!  I do not recommend for anyone to do this themselves!!!  If bitten, you may not die, but you will definitely feel like you want to!  (this last from people who HAVE been bitten).  Above all, if bitten by a rattlesnake, DO NOT PANIC!  Most people do not die from being bitten by a rattlesnake.  Try to get to a place of treatment as quickly as possible, but do not run and try to not let yourself get into a panic.   

 

Haha, just remembered one day at a Pioneer Day Potluck picnic, I brought in a bowl of 'Rattlesnake Salad' and had two sets of rattles lying in front of the bowls.  To this day, people still think that it was Rattler meat, but it was really just chicken meat in a chicken salad...  No one ever caught on... :)

 

As for Sir Giles, after about three years I took him out into the boonies, well away from people and turned him loose.  He had grown some and his terrarium had gotten a bit too small.  My sons and daughter enjoyed their experience's with him...  The wife? not so much, lol although she wasn't afraid to handle him...  I did notice that some relatives didn't come around as often, but whether it was because of him or me, I'll never know...

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