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Encyclopedia > Asiatic Lion
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Asiatic Lion
Female "Moti" at the Bristol Zoo.
Female "Moti" at the Bristol Zoo.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. leo
Subspecies: P. l. persica
Trinomial name
Panthera leo persica
Meyer, 1826
Current distribution of the Asiatic Lion in the wild
Current distribution of the Asiatic Lion in the wild
Synonyms

Leo leo goojratensis (India)
Leo leo persicus (Persia) Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1996x1456, 341 KB) Asiatic Lioness (Panthera leo persica), name MOTI, born Helsinki Zoo (Finland) in October 1994, arrived Bristol Zoo (England) in January 1996 Taken by Adrian Pingstone at Bristol Zoo, England, in January 2005 and released to the public domain. ... Bristol Zoo is a major UK tourist attraction in the city of Bristol in Southwest England. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... . ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Animalia redirects here. ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses Allotheria* Order Multituberculata (extinct) Order Volaticotheria (extinct) Order Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Order Triconodonta (extinct) Order Docodonta (extinct) Prototheria Order Monotremata Theria Infraclass Trituberculata (extinct) Infraclass Marsupialia Infraclass Eutheria The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in females for the nourishment of young, from... Families 17, See classification The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: or IPA: ; from Latin carō (stem carn-) flesh, + vorāre to devour) includes over 260 placental mammals. ... Subfamilies Felinae Pantherinae †Machairodontinae The Felidae family includes the Lion, the Tiger, the Domestic Cats, and other felines as its members. ... Species Panthera is a genus of the family Felidae (the cats), which contains four well-known species: the tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar. ... Binomial name Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) The Lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae. ... Trinomial nomenclature is a taxonomic naming system that extends the standard system of binomial nomenclature by adding a third taxon. ... // People Meyer, Adolf (1866–1950), Swiss-born U.S. psychiatrist Meyer, Adolf (1881-1921), architect Meyer, Adolf Bernard (1840-1911), German anthropologist and ornithologist Meyer, Albert Cardinal (1903–1965), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago Meyer, Albert (1870–1953), Swiss politician Meyer, Alfred (1891–1945), German Nazi official Meyer, Alfred Richard... The oldest surviving photograph, Nicéphore Niépce, circa 1826 1826 (MDCCCXXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1058x749, 67 KB) Summary National parks and Sanctuary - Gujarat State (India) with district boundries and city marks - Self Made - w:User:Miljoshi - Jan 2006 - w:Gir Forest National Park - w:Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary Note: co-ordinates are estimated, and may... In scientific nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names used for a single taxon. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ...

The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica; also known as Indian Lion) is a subspecies of the lion found only in India. Asiatic Lion once ranged from Turkey to India, covering most of West Asia where it was also known as the Persian Lion. Binomial name Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of Lions in Africa Synonyms Felis leo (Linnaeus, 1758) The lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae and one of four big cats in the genus Panthera. ... A map showing Southwest Asia - The term Middle East is more often used to refer to both Southwest Asia and some North African countries Southwest Asia, or West Asia, is the southwestern part of Asia. ...


The current wild population consists of about 300 odd restricted to the Gir Forest in the state of Gujarat, India. There are plans to re-introduce some into the wild in Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in the neighboring State of Madhya Pradesh. The Gir National Forest is located near the southernmost point of the peninsula The Gir Forest National Park is located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat, India on 1412 kilometers2 of land. ... Gujarātlanguage|GujarātÄ«]]: , IPA: ,  ) is a state in the Republic of India. ... Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary or Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary is located between latitudes of 25°30’- 25°53’E & longitude of 77°07’-77°26’N, in the Sheopur district of north western Madhya Pradesh, a state in the central India. ... Madhya PradeÅ›   (HindÄ«: मध्य प्रदेश, English: , IPA: ), often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. ...


The historic distribution included the Caucasus to Yemen and from Macedon to present-day India through Iran (Persia). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... Macedons regions and towns Macedon or Macedonia (from Greek ; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was the name of an ancient kingdom in the northern-most part of ancient Greece, bordering the kingdom of Epirus on the west and the region of Thrace to the east[1... The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the old Persian homeland, and beyond in Western Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. ...


Found famously on numerous Flags and Coat of Arms all across Asia and Europe, the Asiatic Lions also stand firm on the National Emblem of India. French Tricolore flag A flag is a piece of cloth flown from a pole or mast, usually intended for signaling or identification. ... A modern coat of arms is derived from the medi val practice of painting designs onto the shield and outer clothing of knights to enable them to be identified in battle, and later in tournaments. ... The Emblem of India The Emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. ...

Contents

Status

The Gir Forest National Park of western India has about 359 lions (as of April 2006) which live in a 1,412 km² (558 square miles) sanctuary covered with scrub and open deciduous forest habitats. The population in 1907 consisted of only 13 lions and the Nawab of Junagadh gave them complete protection. The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica). ... A square mile is an English unit of area equal to that of a square with sides each 1 statute mile (≈1,609 m) in length. ... Nawab (Urdu: نواب ) was originally the subadar (provincial governor) or viceroy of a subah (province) or region of the Mughal empire. ... Junagadh is a city, in Junagadh District, in the Indian state of Gujarat. ...


The tiger, which is is the other large cat on the Indian subcontinent is presently not found in the area occupied by the Lion. Binomial name Panthera tigris (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of tigers in 1900 (red) and 1990 (green) Synonyms Felis tigris Linnaeus, 1758 Tigris striatus Severtzov, 1858 Tigris regalis pink, 1867 Tigers (Panthera tigris) are mammals of the Felidae family and one of four big cats in the Panthera genus. ...


The Gir forest is close to numerous human habitations and the lions sometimes prey on livestock. Some tribes have also been known to steal meat from lion kills. This has led to many conflicts between the local people, lions and the wildlife officials.[1]


Inbreeding concerns

The wild population of more than 300 Asiatic Lions is thought to be derived from just 13 individuals and thus was widely thought to be highly inbred. Many studies have reported that the inbred populations could be susceptible to diseases and their sperm were deformed leading to infertility. In earlier studies Stephen O'Brien, a geneticist, had suggested that "If you do a DNA fingerprint, Asiatic lions actually look like identical twins... because they descend from as few as a dozen individuals that was all left at the turn of the 20th century."[2] This makes them especially vulnerable to diseases, and causes 70% to 80% of sperm to be deformed — a ratio that can lead to infertility when lions are further inbred in captivity. Genetic fingerprinting or DNA testing is a technique to distinguish between individuals of the same species using only samples of their DNA. Its invention by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester was announced in 1985. ... Fraternal twin boys in the tub The term twin most notably refers to two individuals (or one of two individuals) who have shared the same uterus (womb) and usually, but not necessarily, born on the same day. ... The term disease refers to an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs function. ...


A subsequent study suggested that the low genetic variability may have been a feature of the original population and not a result of inbreeding in recent times. They also show that the variability in immunotypes is close to that of the tiger population and that there are no spermatazoal abnormalities in the current population of Asiatic Lions.[3][4] The results of the study have been questioned due the use of RAPD techniques which are unsuitable for population genetics research.[5] RAPD experiment RAPD stands for random amplification of polymorphic DNA. It is a type of PCR reaction, but the segments of DNA that are amplified are random. ...


The population figure of 13 Asiatic lions at the turn of 1900s is regarded as inaccurate and is believed to have been publicized to discourage hunting. Census data from that time indicates that the population was closer to 100.[6] Hunting of Lions was a popular sport with the British Colonialists and Indian Royalty and all other Lions in India had been exterminated by then. Hunter and Huntress redirect here. ... Colonialism is a system in which a state claims sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, often to facilitate economic domination over their resources, labor, and often markets. ... Royalty may refer to either: the royal family of a country with a monarchy royalties the payment made to the owner of a copyright, patent, or trademark, for the use thereof This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same...


Threats to the species

Even though the Gir Forest is well protected, there are incidences of poaching for their claws. Lions are also poisoned for attacking livestock. Some of the other major threats include floods, fires and epidemics. Their restricted range makes them especially vulnerable. The Gir National Forest is located near the southernmost point of the peninsula The Gir Forest National Park is located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat, India on 1412 kilometers2 of land. ...


Nearly 15,000 to 20,000 open wells dug by farmers in the area for irrigation have also acted as traps with many lions drowning. Suggestions for walls around the wells as well as the use of "Drilled Tube wells" have been made. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Farmers on the periphery of the Gir Forest frequently use crude and illegal electrical fences by powering them with high voltage overhead power lines. These are usually intended to protect their crops from Nilgai but lions and other wildlife are also killed. Binomial name Boselaphus tragocamelus Pall. ...


The biggest threat faced by the Gir Forest is the presence of Maldharis.[citation needed] These communities are vegetarian and do not indulge in poaching because they are basically pasturalists, with an average of 50 cattle (mainly "Gir Cow") per family. During the dry season, Maldharis from outside the sanctuary bring their cattle into the park in the guise of selling them and take them out after the monsoon season. The areas around Maldhari settlements, nesses, are overgrazed. This habitat destruction by the cattle and the firewood requirements of the populace reduces the natural prey base and endangers the lions. The lions are in turn forced by the lack of natural prey to shift to killing cattle and are in turn targeted by the people. Maldharis are nomadic herdsmen who live in the Gujarat state of India. ...


Reintroduction

Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lion

Work has been going on over the past decade to establish the world's second completely removed population of the wild free ranging Asiatic Lions at the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Conservationists, Scientists all over the world and the Central Government of India agree that this is necessary to save the last Asiatic lions from extinction due to epidemics and natural calamities in the near future. It is also very important to start a separate second population because not only it serves as a life insurance for the last surviving Asiatic Lions but it will also help to develop and maintain genetic diversity. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1503x1011, 178 KB) Asiatischer Löwe (Panthera leo persica) im Tiergarten Nürnberg. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1503x1011, 178 KB) Asiatischer Löwe (Panthera leo persica) im Tiergarten Nürnberg. ... Work has been going on over the past decade to establish the worlds second completely removed population of the wild free ranging Asiatic Lions at the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. ... Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary or Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary is located between latitudes of 25°30’- 25°53’E & longitude of 77°07’-77°26’N, in the Sheopur district of north western Madhya Pradesh, a state in the central India. ... Madhya PradeÅ›   (HindÄ«: मध्य प्रदेश, English: , IPA: ), often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. ...


Fact-sheet

Compared to its African counterpart, the males of the Indian lion have a scantier mane and a characteristic skin fold at the belly.

  • Weight: Male 150-225 Kg; Female 100-150 Kg[7]
  • Length (head and body): Male 170-240 cm; Female 140-170 cm
  • Length (tail): 70-105 cm
  • Shoulder height: Male 90-110 cm; Female 80-90 cm
  • Sexual Maturity: Male 5 years; Female 4 years
  • Mating season: All year round
  • Gestation period: 100-119 days
  • Number of young: 1 to 6
  • Birth interval: 18-26 months
  • Typical diet: Deer, antelope, wild boar, buffalo
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years

Common names

  • Arie Asi'iaty (Hebrew);
  • Indian Lion (English);
  • Iranian / Persian Lion (English);
  • Shinh / Sinh, Simha, untia bagh [camel tiger] (Hindi);
  • sinh, sawaj (Gujarati);
  • hawaj (Maldhari);
  • babbar sher (Punjabi), (Hindi popular usage) & (Urdu);
  • shir (Persian);
  • lion d'Asie (French);
  • Asiatischer Löwe (German);
  • león de Asia (Spanish);
  • leão asiático (Portuguese)

Asiatic Lions in Europe and West Asia

Chandra and Moti, the asiatic lions at Bristol Zoo
Chandra and Moti, the asiatic lions at Bristol Zoo

Lions were once found in Europe. Aristotle and Herodotus wrote that lions were found in the Balkans. When King Xerxes of Persia advanced through Macedon in 480 BC, several of his baggage camels were killed by lions. Lions are believed to have died out within the borders of present-day Greece around AD 80-100. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1984x1662, 1295 KB) Chandra and Moti the asiatic lions at Bristol Zoo. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1984x1662, 1295 KB) Chandra and Moti the asiatic lions at Bristol Zoo. ... Bristol Zoo is a major UK tourist attraction in the city of Bristol in Southwest England. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... Aristotle (Greek: Aristotélēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Xerxes (the Greek form of the Old Persian ) is the name of two Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty: Xerxes I, reigned 485–465 BC, also known as Xerxes the Great. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... Macedons regions and towns Macedon or Macedonia (from Greek ; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was the name of an ancient kingdom in the northern-most part of ancient Greece, bordering the kingdom of Epirus on the west and the region of Thrace to the east[1... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ...


The European population is sometimes considered part of the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) group, but others consider it a separate subspecies, the European lion (Panthera leo europaea). Trinomial name Panthera leo europaea The European lion (Panthera leo europaea) could be an extinct subspecies of lion that inhabited southern Europe until historic times. ...


Lions were found in the Caucasus until 10 AD. These lions became extinct in Armenia around the year 300 and in Azerbaijan and southwest Russia during the 10th century. The region was also inhabited by the Caspian Tiger and the Persian leopard apart from Asiatic Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) introduced by Armenian princes for hunting. The last tiger was shot in 1932 near Prishib village in Talis, Azerbaijan Republic. The principal reasons for the disappearance of these cats was their extermination as predators. The prey for large cats in the region included the wisent, elk, aurochs, tarpan, deer and other ungulates. Franks penetrate into northern Belgium (approximate date). ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... Trinomial name Panthera tigris virgata (Illiger, 1815) Distribution of caspian tigers in 1900 (red) Synonyms P. tigris lecoqi (China) Color-enhanced photo of a captive specimen (possibly the same individual as above) The Caspian tiger or Persian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) was the westernmost subspecies of tiger, found in Iran... Trinomial name Acinonyx jubatus venaticus The Asiatic cheetah (cheetah from Hindi चीता cÄ«tā, derived from Sanskrit word chitraka meaning speckled) (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is a rare critically endangered subspecies of the cheetah found primarily in Iran. ... Binomial name Bison bonasus (Linnaeus, 1758) The Wisent or European Bison (Bison bonasus) (IPA: ) is a bison species and the heaviest land animal in Europe. ... Binomial name Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758) Moose range map The moose (so named in North America) or elk (in Europe), Alces alces, is the largest member of the deer family Cervidae, distinguished from the others by the palmate antlers of its males. ... Binomial name Bos primigenius Subspecies Bos primigenius primigenius   (Bojanus, 1827) Bos primigenius namadicus   (Falconer, 1859) Bos primigenius mauretanicus   (Thomas, 1881) See Ur (rune) for the rune. ... Binomial name Equus ferus Boddaert, 1785 The Tarpan, Equus ferus, was the Eurasian wild horse. ... “Fawn” redirects here. ...


Lions remained widespread elsewhere until the mid-19th century when the advent of firearms led to its extinction over large areas. The last sighting of a live Asiatic Lion in Iran was in 1941 (between Shiraz and Jahrom, Fars province). In 1944, the corpse of a lioness was found on the banks of Karun river, Khuzestan province, Iran. There are no subsequent reliable reports from Iran.[8] By the late 19th century the lion had disappeared from Turkey.[9][10] Eram Garden, Shiraz most popular garden. ... // Introduction Fars is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. ... Karun River passing the Iranian city of Ahvaz The Karun (also Karoun) is Irans most effluent, and the only navigable, river. ... Map showing Khuzestan in Iran Domes like this are quite common in Khuzestan province. ...


The Barbary Lion

Main article: Barbary Lion

In 1968, a study of the skulls of the extinct Barbary (North African), extinct Cape, Asiatic, and African lions showed that the same skull characteristics - the very narrow postorbital bar - existed in the Barbary and Asiatic lion skulls.[citation needed] This shows that there may have been a close relationship between the lions from Northernmost Africa and Asia. It is also believed that the South European lion that became extinct around AD 80-100, could have represented the connecting link between the North African and Asiatic lions. It is believed that Barbary lions possessed the same belly fold (hidden under their manes) that are seen in the Asian lions today. Trinomial name Panthera leo leo (Linnaeus, 1758) The Barbary Lion Panthera leo leo is a subspecies of lion. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... The Dodo, shown here in illustration, is an often-cited[1] example of modern extinction. ... Trinomial name Panthera leo melanochaitus Ch. ...


See also

Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden also known as Sakkarbaug Zoo or Junagadh Zoo at Junagadh, Gujarat, India is famous worldwide for providing purebreed Asiatic Lions for the Indian and the international Endangered species captive breeding program for the critically endangered Asiatic Lions. ... Junagadh is a city, in Junagadh District, in the Indian state of Gujarat. ... Work has been going on over the past decade to establish the worlds second completely removed population of the wild free ranging Asiatic Lions at the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. ... Reintroduction is the deliberate release of animals from captivity into the wild. ... In-situ conservation means on-site conservation. It is the process of protecting an endangered plant or animal species in its natural habitat, either by protecting or cleaning up the habitat itself, or by defending the species from predators. ... cheese ... Ex-situ conservation means literally, off-site conservation. It is the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal by removing it from an unsafe or threatened habitat and placing it or part of it under the care of humans. ... The Dodo, shown here in illustration, is an often-cited[1] example of modern extinction. ... The Emblem of India The Emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. ...

Cited references

  1. ^ Saberwal, V. K., J. P. Gibbs, Ravi Chellam, and A. J. T. Johnsingh. "Lion-Human Conflict in the Gir Forest, India." Conservation Biology (June 1994), 501-507.
  2. ^ National Geographic feature
  3. ^ Shivaji,S. , D. Jayaprakash and Suresh B. Patil (1998) Assessment of inbreeding depression in big cats: Testosterone levels and semen analysis. Current science. 75(9):23-30 [1]
  4. ^ Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), Government of India
  5. ^ "Indians Look At Their Big Cats' Genes", Science, Random Samples, Volume 278, Number 5339, Issue of 31 October 1997, 278: 807 (DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5339.807b) (in Random Samples),The American Association for the Advancement of Science
  6. ^ The Asiatic Lion Information Centre Accessed January 2007
  7. ^ Bristol Zoo information page on the Asiatic lion
  8. ^ Guggisberg, C.A.W. (1961). Simba: The Life of the Lion. Howard Timmins, Cape Town. 
  9. ^ Ustay, A.H. (1990). Hunting in Turkey. BBA, Istanbul. 
  10. ^ Asiatic Lion Information Centre. 2001 Past and present distribution of the lion in North Africa and Southwest Asia. Downloaded on 1 June 2006 from [2]

Other references

  • Cat Specialist Group (2000). Panthera leo ssp. persica. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this subspecies is critically endangered
  • S.M.Nair (English edition); Translated by O.Henry Francis (1999). Endangered Animals of India and their conservation (In Tamil). National Book Trust. 
  • Kaushik, H. 2005. Wire fences death traps for big cats. Times of India, Thursday, October 27, 2005.
  • Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. (compilers and editors) (1996). Wild Cats. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
  • Chellam, Ravi, and A. J. T. Johnsingh. "Management of Asiatic Lions in the Gir Forest, India" Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond. (1993), No. 65, 409-424.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ...

External links

Wikispecies has information related to:
Panthera leo persica
  • Asiatic Lion Information Centre (Includes an informative "News" section)
  • Asiatic Lion Protection Society (ALPS), Gujarat, India
  • Lion (Panthera leo) from “ARKive images of life on Earth” website]
  • Panthera leo (lion) from “Animal Diversity Web”]
  • "Vanishing Herds Foundation (VHF), India" comes to the rescue of Asiatic Lion
  • Asiatic Gir Gujarati lions in online video(3 videos)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Asiatic Lion Information Centre - The Lion of India (649 words)
This depiction of a lion eventually became the symbol for the modern Republic of India.
Because of the strained circumstances, the lion population began preying on the human population in the area.
Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than their African cousins, although the largest Asiatic lion on record was an imposing 2.9 m in length.
Africanlions.com (628 words)
The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) This sub-species that once ranged from Greece to central India though is now only found in national parks and zoos, once the Asiatic Lion roamed most of central Asi a and concentrated around India mostly.
Because of the strained circumstances, the lion population began preying on the human population in the area.
Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than their African cousins, although the largest Asiatic lion on record was an imposing 2.9 m in length.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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