How to Remove Unwanted Raccoons with Top 5 Effective Traps

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 47 minutes.
Updated: .

Are you tired of raccoons on your property? Sick of having to clean up after these destructive animals? Let’s face it, raccoons are persistent creatures that can be really hard to get rid of.

When it comes to raccoon control, trapping is one of the most popular options. Using a humane, live raccoon trap is the best solution. By following our smart instructions, you’ll no longer ask yourself how to make your raccoon trapping successfully.

Here I suggest Top Raccoon Traps products of 2023 with different brands for your consideration:

Our #1 Rated
Havahart Live Traps review
Havahart Live Traps
  • Easy raccoon capture
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Useful and effective tips for trap baiting and placement

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People's Choice
Tomahawk Live Traps review
Tomahawk Live Traps
  • High quality
  • Easy-to-use
  • Easy baiting and releasing
Check Price

Check Price
Duke Coil Spring Foot Trap 4″ review
Duke Coil Spring Foot Trap 4″
  • Cost-effective tool
  • Light weight
  • Extremely tight springs

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Top 5 Best Raccoon Traps Reviewed

There is no need to use A DIY raccoon cage as there are many efficient live traps on the market that can be freely used on your property. Live traps are regarded to be the best options due to the fact that they are considered to be human raccoon traps. Live traps are available in various models.

Let’s focus on the most popular ones:


Havahart Live Traps – Editor’s Choice

While deciding on the best raccoon trap, consider that there is a huge amount of options available on the market. Though you can choose the one you like, most experts agree, that Havahart raccoon traps are the most effective.

Benefits of using Havahart traps:

  • Easy raccoon capture;
  • Step-by-step instructions that show you how to trap raccoons effectively;
  • Useful and effective tips for trap baiting and placement.
Havahart traps are recommended by most experts based upon reviews, popularity, and size. Many professionals prefer Havahart live traps for use as commercial raccoon traps in large facilities with a heavy raccoon population.
Havahart traps are the best ones because they are easy-to-use and because of their built-in features that protect the animal and trapper.

Set and Release with one hand!If you really want to trap those destructive raccoons we recommend purchasing a Havahart Easy Set Trap. This state-of-the-art live trap provides a patented design that makes raccoon capture easy even for first-time trappers. The simplicity of the lever allows customers to set the trap in one quick motion with one hand.

Havahart Large Easy Set Traps come in:

  • 1-door models – that are trusted by professionals.
  • 2-door models – that allow raccoons greater confidence to enter the trap.
  • Collapsible models – ideal for storage.

Easy Set® allows you to release a trapped raccoon safely from the back of the trap. You don’t have to come near the animal or touch the door. What’s more, updated sturdy hardware features additional security, comfort, and durability.

1. Havahart Large 1-Door Trap – Best Humane Trap for Large Raccoons (People’s Choice)

See More ImagesHavahart X Large 1-door trap
Read Verified Customer Reviews

Havahart 1079 is the largest raccoon cage trap designed by professionals for the humane capture of bigger raccoons. This heavy-duty trap is made with 12-gauge steel wire mesh.

Dimensions: 32″ x 10″ x 12″

Ideal for: catching large raccoons.

2. Havahart Large 2-Door Trap

See More ImagesHavahart Large 2-door Trap
Read Verified Customer Reviews

This 2-door trap allows raccoons to enter from either direction. This live trap with 2 doors has many features to allow quick, safe, and easy catches. Sensitive trigger ensures secure and quick capture.

Dimensions: 36″ x 10″ x 12″

Ideal for: catching medium sized raccoons.

3. Havahart Large 1-Door Cage Trap

See More ImagesHavahart Large 1-door trap
Read Verified Customer Reviews

It’s a good option for those who don’t want big traps to take up a lot of space when they are not using them. Ideal for first-time trappers, just one move, and the trap is set!

Dimensions: 32″ x 10″ x 12″

Ideal for: catching large raccoons.


4. Tomahawk Live Traps

See More ImagesTomahawk Live Trap with one Trap Door
Read Verified Customer Reviews

These are high-quality, easy-to-use traps that can be effectively used for raccoon trapping.

Below there is a list of the best Tomahawk raccoon traps:

  • Tomahawk Original Series Rigid Trap with one Trap Door (dimensions: 32″x12″x10″) – View on Amazon
  • Tomahawk Original Series Rigid Trap with 2 Trap Doors (dimensions: 32″x9″x9″) – View on Amazon
  • Tomahawk Original Series Rigid Trap for Raccoons Extra Large with one Trap Door and Easy Release Door (dimensions: 36″x12″x12″) – View on Amazon

5. Duke Coil Spring Foot Trap

It’s used to catch and hold wild animals.

How to trap with foot traps? If you are one of those who want to try foot traps for catching raccoons, we suggest using the Duke Foot Trap – this type of trap is widely accepted as an efficient and cost-effective tool for managing wildlife populations.

Size: 4″ for raccoons.

What is the Best Raccoon Trap in November, 2023? – Your Expert Buyer’s Guide

Tired of raccoons uprooting your yard, raiding your trash or tormenting your family pets? Remove these unwanted creatures with live raccoon traps. Read on how to trap a raccoon and select the best trap for raccoon catching.

We’ll provide you with working info on raccoon catching. What live trap to choose, how to trap a raccoon, how to bait the trap, and how to buy the best live traps for raccoons are all those questions you’ll surely receive answers to.

How to Trap a Raccoon: Smart Instructions

It is not difficult to trap a raccoon. These pesky critters have 2 habits that make them vulnerable to the trapper:

  • Raccoons are curious;
  • Raccoons are always hungry.

As far as raccoons are very smart animals, they have to be trapped in a certain way. Keep in mind that once the animal escapes, you’ll never be able to trap it again.

To catch your raccoon once and for all, follow our instructions:

  1. The best raccoons trapSelect the best trap

    Today’s market suggests various variants of traps. Consider buying a live trap to catch a raccoon. We recommend to purchase large or extra-large in size traps.

    Usually traps come in 1-door or two-door options. 1-door models make it easier for larger animals to fully enter the trap. However, if you need higher catch rate, you are to choose 2-door model.

    Location is very important for trapping raccoons.
  2. Place the trapChoose where to place the trap

    The trap should be placed on an even surface in an area where raccoons are frequent or in the place with raccoon damage.

    The prime locations are:

    • Areas where trash cans are kept;
    • Gardens;
    • Patios where pet food is left;
    • Along fence lines;
    • In attics;
    • Underneath structures.
  3. Bait the trapBait the trap

    Selecting raccoon bait is critical and just as important as the choice of place where you place the trap. Choose bait that will attract those curious critters.

    It is very important where you place the bait. To make your trapping successful, place the bait so that the animal must fully enter the trap.

    To lure a raccoon inside the trap, use sweet foods or fatty meats.

    Favorite raccoon baits include:

    • Wet cat food;
    • Marshmallows;
    • Fish;
    • Crisp bacon;
    • Cooked fatty meat;
    • Sweet corn.
    Using sugary foods to lure raccoons inside the trap is a good idea.
    Why? This is because sweet foods target pesky raccoons without attracting other unwanted animals.
  4. Set the trapSet the trap
    To set the trap, follow the unique instructions. To ensure the trap is working properly, you are to test it a couple of times. Once the trap is set, test the trigger, and then close the mechanism by pressing the trigger plate.

  5. Check the trap regularlyCheck the trap regularly

    Check the trap frequently – at least twice a day – to see if the animal has been caught. Once a raccoon is caught, it can become scared. Never leave a raccoon trapped for an extended period of time.

  6. When you catch the raccoonWhen you catch the raccoon
    Cover the trap with a blanket to limit human interaction and to keep the animal calm. If relocating, take the animal at least five miles away from your property.

Top 5 Raccoon Trapping Tips

  1. Are you allowed to trap the raccoon? – If you are inexperienced in trapping, most states require you to have a wildlife license to remove a raccoon from your property. Keep in mind raccoons can pose a serious health risk to people. Check the regulations of your state’s department of wildlife to see if it is legal to trap a raccoon in case you are not a professional.
    Do it yourself or hire a pro?
  2. How to lure a raccoon? Figure out what bait is the best. Though raccoons eat just about anything, using bread or marshmallows in your trap will decrease the chance of trapping your neighbor’s cat. Before catching a raccoon, secure trash bins and clean up any potential food sources to ensure your bait is the only attractant.

    Before setting the live trap, leave some bait – sweet corn, marshmallows – outside the trap door so the raccoon can get a taste of what awaits him.
  3. Protect yourself when handling a live trapHow to protect yourself when handling a live trap? – Always wear gloves. Gloves can protect you from a trapped raccoon and will keep you from transferring your scent onto the trap.
  4. What if I can’t catch the raccoon at all? – To trap the animal, you should set the right type of trap – at least 32 inches long, your trap must have no defects. The trap should be flush to the ground with no wobble.
  5. Havahart trapsWhat is the best way to trap a raccoon? – The best way to trap the animal is by using effective and versatile human traps which are safe for the animal. If you are not an expert in trapping, the trap should be easy to operate. Consider Havahart traps. They allow trappers of all experience levels to capture, transport, and release raccoons with ease.

Raccoon Trapping: How to Catch in a Live Trap

Live traps are one of the most popular options to crack your raccoon problem.

But if you’ve decided to use trapping for catching raccoons, be sure the process of trapping is humane from start to finish. Raccoons are more likely to injure themselves or escape. Therefore, you are to buy a quality plastic trap or metal wire trap.

Don’t use traps with solid metal walls. Why? They can easily turn into death traps becoming ovens in hot weather.

How to Set a Live Trap

Set the live trap. How to do it? Usually, this involves setting up the box of the live trap and propping the trap’s door open. Make sure you follow all safety precautions. Assemble traps exactly as the instructions tell you.

Traps must be washed and disinfected with a bleach solution.

The best time to set the trap would be after sunset – raccoons usually come out at night to find food – and check out the trap in the morning. Try different places to find out where live trap works and where doesn’t. If you are having raccoon problems on your property, set the trap near your garbage cans or where you believe they are entering the house.

Raccoons repellents and deterrentsThink you have to suffer of raccoon’s mess on your property? Not anymore: Learn how to make away with destructive animals using best-selling raccoon repellents and deterrents.

Tired of raccoons? Read this and find out how to eliminate raccoons with easy steps for raccoon removal.

Don’t know how to make away with troublesome raccoons? We know-how. Check out the latest info on raccoon poison and professional raccoon extermination services.

What to do with a Trapped Raccoon

Bring the raccoon at least 10 miles awayIf you need to transport a raccoon, cover the trap with a blanket to minimize raccoon’s stress before taking the next step. If you want to be sure, raccoon won’t return, bring the animal at least 10 miles away.

If you are not an expert and don’t know how to deal with a trapped raccoon, it’s time to call the Human Society or the local game commission to either direct or assist you in releasing the raccoon. Remember raccoons are a very aggressive and inexperienced person who is likely to be bitten or attacked if attempting to release the animal without the assistance of a trained wildlife professional.

Use our trapping tips and don’t let raccoons turn your yard or house into their dining room. Put cost-effective and humane live raccoon traps to work for you today!

You can find further details of Raccoons Control here.

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  1. In your article at one point you say take the animal at least five miles away from your property. Later you say If you want to be sure, raccoon won’t return, bring the animal at least 10 miles away.

    Which is right. 5 or 10 miles?


    • 25 MILES O R MORE! Dem der raccoons are smart like cats. they both need to be hauled a long ways away

  2. Removing to another location is incorrect. Call animal control. Raccoons have diseases and will bring their disease to a new area, killing the native animals which don’t have disease resistance. If they are trash eaters, they will starve as they never learned how to fish, find and eat acorns and the standard wilderness food. Farmers don’t want them and will probably set death traps.

  3. Completely worthless information. 100% useless. I have been working with professional animal control teams since September of 2015. It is now late April of 2016 and we haven’t caught them. Six traps have been set around the house every night baited as this article suggests and no luck. They just go into the traps and get what they want and then leave. The Havahart traps do not fire off but the bait is gone. This article is 100% nonsense and misleading. None of this works – the pros have tried it all.

    • I disagree. Raccoons were getting into my wife’s bird feeders so I went to Tractor Supply and got two traps. Yesterday I got my 24th raccoon. They will eat about anything but they are lazy. If I have food in the traps on the ground they will go for that instead of climbing a tree to get to the feeders.

    • Totally agree. After two nights with a Havahart, bait gone and trap sprung but no raccoon. I figure the smart animal is able to lift the very light trap door. It’s possible the ‘coon is large and the door is coming down on its back, enabling it to back out after dining, but either way the trap is the problem.

      BTW, is this website in any way associated with the Havahart company? Sure sounds like it.

    • I’ve caught 2 with a knock-off Havaheart-style trap I bought at Rural King for about $25. First was baited with a can of cat food, second with an old chunk of summer sausage in a plastic bag that I cut some holes in. I have lost bait on one occasion. My grandmother had a large raccoon on her property. It was so big, the trap door wouldn’t close all the way while it was eating the bait (it’s butt was in the way; maybe a smaller trap?). They wired a piece of bacon to the far end of the trap so it would have to work to get it free. They caught the raccoon.

    • Having the same problem. The trap isn’t big enough. May be your problem? If the county can’t help me, I’ll try the animal repellent sold in OSH. My dog was bit, and my yard is pulled apart. I’m concerned for my grandchildren’s safety not to mention, mine. Good luck.

    • Try putting skinny sticks through the trap right over the bate. Make sure the container is wired to the back and centered. The sticks will make it work to get the food and rockie will forget about the trigger. What you’ve got is an experienced coon. He has been trapped so many times that it is just fun to him. I suggest ,if you don’t have the balls to kill them, you should not trap and teach them . You’re just making it more difficult for the guy .who really cares to get rid of the rabbid vermin.

    • I have several of my dad’s old style havahart traps and they work great. Have caught well over 30 raccoons and possums. Most reliable bait I’ve found is a dish of Pepsi and marshmallows behind the plate with a small trail of marshmallows leading up to it.

    • you set the pin wrong didn’t you? i had the same problem. for a month i was catching a ground hog a day and then nothing for a month, bait kept going missing. then i realized i placed the pin in a position that it wouldn’t trigger the plate.

      • @ GREG APR 22, 2016. sorry first time here, thought the reply would go to the person i was replying to.

  4. I have tried everything to trap a second raccoon,all types of food mentioned,bleached the trap,wore gloves to bait the trap, different locations,and stayed up one night in the house and watched the coon walk around the trap and nothing. If I could shoot the s.o.b. where I live I would but I cannot,so now what PROS

    • Raccoons have gotten into my coop and killed 1 chicken a night for 3 nights, even after I secured the coop. The most recent night, the raccoon avoided the “easy” food in the trap and pried open the construction mesh around the door of the coop, climbed into the coop, got the chicken but couldn’t get the chicken out of the same area the raccoon got in, so left the carcass on the coop floor. The coop was in shambles. I’ve been housing my lone chicken in the garage at night until I can catch the SOB. So far, the humane trap has not lured the raccoon. I’ll try disinfecting the coop and setting it again tonight, but I figure my scent is all over the coop, and the raccoon is not avoided that. Raccoons are horrible beasts — they don’t even eat the chicken; they just bite off the head at the neck and eat out the insides of the chicken, leaving the chicken body mostly intact and the head lying nearby.

      • That’s a weasel doing that

  5. We had a raccoon that was coming out in the daytime. Don’t know why because they are night creatures. I watched it as it was heading for my trap. I had put heavy plastic on the back of my trap I got at Tractor Supply. Instead of going in the trap to get the food it worked to get that plastic off and it did. It reached in and got the food. Next day it was back and I had no choice but to shoot it. Traps do work though. I now have caught 26 raccoons in my traps.

  6. “Please” do not relocate any raccoons, we don’t want them around us either. They kill our chickens, harm our farm animals and spread diseases, then we have to deal with them. I lost 13 chickens last night alone.

    • Yes same problem here, sudden increase in raccoons around my property so im guessing they werent always in the area. I’m planning on shooting the bastard after it slaughtered 6 of my brand new bantam breed hens. Raccoons are pests and should be dealt with as such, no mercy.

  7. The Easy Set traps are wonderful. Much easier to work with.

    However, raccoons are smart.

    1. Set trap out. Coon rolled the trap on its side and ate the bait.

    2. Pinned the trap with rebar. Coon pulled the trip plate wire out. Ate the bait.

    3. Put rebar outside the trip wire to protect it. Coon apparently big enough to sit in front of the trip plate and reach over it to eat the bait.

    The pro trappers wire a 1/3 open can of sardines to the back wall, hoping the coon will make a mistake and hit the trip plate.

    My perfect coon trap:

    a. stainless steel or structural aluminum

    b. easy set

    c. protected trip plate wire (can’t be pulled out of trip plate)

    d. flanges for ground anchor pins (and a chain).

    e. bait “window” that can’t be reached thru from outside

    e. longer trip plate to back wall distance.

    • “Coon rolled the trap on its side and ate the bait”
      I had that problem to nights in a row. So I took two horseshoe stakes and pounded them in the ground one on each side of trap. Looked out the next morning and had another raccoon. Someone said Racoon gets the bate from behind. What you can do is put the back of trap against something like a big tree or shed. Just caught my 29th coon yesterday.

  8. Racoon gets t he bate from behind the plate trips the door but gets away.

  9. It is illegal to relocate wildlife in the state of California. If you trap a nuisance raccoon in California you can either kill it, release it on site, (i.e. in your yard where you trapped it) or see if your local animal control will take it. (and kill it for you)

  10. We have been trapping raccoons and have caught 5 with this advice. My top 3 tips are:
    1 release the raccoon the morning you catch it.
    2 find where the raccoons enter your yard, and make a mini marshmallow trail into the trap.
    3 it is not necessary to take the raccoon 10 miles away if you release it on the other side of a body of water.
    I hope these were helpful. Happy trapping!

  11. I think you mean to say humane and Humane Society rather than human.

    • Anybody have any ideas for trapping a rabid raccoon that happens to live–and eat–in the same area that has a colony of stray and feral cats? Don’t want to trap the cats. They’re being taken care of by some folks and aren’t bothering anything or anyone. Ideas? I’m all ears…

  12. So, you’re basically recommending that I relocate the raccoon to someone else’s neighborhood? What happens if someone from that neighborhood is simultaneously relocating their raccoons to my neighborhood? You’re recommending nothing more than a raccoon exchange program!

  13. Racoon’s have a parasite in their fecal matter. When the parasite eggs in the fecal matter are kicked or hit with the lawn mower the eggs attach to dust particles and when inhaled by humans the result is death. There is no treatment. I was directed by Washington state fish and game to kill any and all raccoons period! Relocating racoon’s is illegal!

  14. In most states it is illegal to relocate a live trapped wild animal for many of the previously mentioned reasons. Check your local laws and if you don’t have the means or the inclination to destroy a trapped animal, leave it to the professionals.

  15. Relocating the raccoon is impracticable treats the symptoms of the problem and not the cause.Just passes the buck and no guarantee they won’t find there way back and I thought that wasn’t legal in most areas anymore.Your not even allowed to take more aggressive steps to protect your family and property.You can’t drop them off in the park any more and Rangers bwont come out and pick them up even though they get a generous amount of our tax money.

  16. we have a very smart raccoon visiting us. He/she manages to go in, eats the food, and then leaves and after eating the food trips the cage on the way out. What can we do? The raccoon also leave “presents (poop)” at our pool.

  17. Raccoons are territorial and if you real ease them there there is a high chance that the raccoon will be killed by other raccoons

  18. Carbon Monoxide from a running car is a humane and quick way to kill anything rats, mice raccoons etc. Put the entire cage in a large plastic bag cinch up the neck with duct tape around a beer can with both ends cut out, then slip over the tail pipe. start car.
    I have seen this done and the animal sat very still and quietly fell over with its eyes still open, after 15 seconds. Two hours later it was removed from the cage and buried. Make sure it is not just unconscious.

    • Someone mentioned using carbon monoxide. That’s actually a pretty darn good idea. I asked my doctor about how a person dies who’s exposed and he said they’re dead in about five minutes and it’s more or less like falling asleep, but quicker. Sounds like that would be the most humane way to do it. Relocation is a joke, not to mention cruel to the animals AND the people who live in the ‘new’ area.

    • One word of caution about using the carbon monoxide emissions from your car. That is, for the purpose of euthanizing raccoons. Please DO IT OUTSIDE YOUR GARAGE AWAY FROM YOUR HOUSE!!! Remember, CO kills people too.

  19. Some raccoons are brilliant and/or large. Over the years I’ve trapped seven or eight in a Havahart collapsible trap. But the one entering through our cat-door now is brilliant — or fat.

    It took the bait can out of the trap without triggering the trap.
    I wired the bait can to the floor of the trap.
    It ate all the bait, triggered the trap and was no where to be seen in the morning. I suspected it was so large that the trap door just hit it in the butt. I do not believe that even raccoons could open a Havahart door from the inside after it has fully closed.

    I saw the thing in the kitchen eating the cat food a couple of times, as I suspected, it is huge. It came by outside the sliding glass door one time when I was sitting at the table, and stood up to look in and I think it was about 3 feet tall.

    Plan B or maybe C. I put the cat in the garage for the night and filled the cat dish with chopped up rat poison blocks (Tomcat) with kibble on top. I saw the raccoon perched over the dish, but managed to back around the corner before it saw me. Set a timer for ten minutes and came back. The rat poison was stacked in a little pile around the dish and all the kibble was eaten.

    I need a plan D. This is the demonic form of a raccoon.

    The frustrating thing is that for more than ten years we never had a problem with raccoons coming in the cat door. We keep the cat food a couple of rooms away from the door, so there’s no immediate draw if they do poke their nose in the cat door. I suspect that someone in the neighborhood started keeping their pet food dish right next to their pet door. Then when a raccoon pokes its nose in, it sees the food and learns, “Hey, these little doors are portals to food. I’ll explore all of them.”

    Don’t keep your pet food in the same room as the pet door. It teaches the raccoons.

    Completely agree about eradicating rather than relocating. I relocated the first two or three I caught, but that’s just making them someone else’s problem. These things are only cute in cartoons and they smell **bad**.

    • This is to Jeff Walther, if you haven’t caught that smart bugger yet. Try using the wet canned cat food and crushed poison pellets, then mix them. Don’t mix them so well that they’re like one blend of mush. Mix it just enough so that Rocky Raccoon can’t separate the poison from the cat food. His overwhelming greed and huge appetite will, or should, eventually overcome the part of his brain that’s telling him not to eat the poison. Good luck and let us know if it works.

  20. Before moving your problem to another place, creating a problem for someone else, check with your local and state wildlife people. Oregon does NOT allow removing fur bearing creatures from your property. You must deal with it on site = let it go or kill it.

  21. Caught them on vidieo reaching through from the side and pulling bait out piece by piece. Took 12 by 15 in piece of hardware clothe secured around edges with small hog rings over area on side of trap across from bait station

  22. Some Raccoons get very big- largest one ever caught was over 60 lbs- Think about that for a minute-best coon trap is a foot hold trap- also know as dog proof trap- will only catch coons & possum.

  23. The Duke DP Coon Trap is the best raccoon trap.

  24. I read all the posts! one trick that I thought would end the game was to install a tower onto the trip plate, place the bait at the top of the 3 inch tall tower so when “greedy” grabbed onto it to pull out the bait it would be all over.. No such luck all the primer bait was gone the main load was not touched! after a week of this I put the trap away…

  25. I have to disagree with your choice of Havahart traps as the best. I’ve had good success with mine, trapping over 30 raccoons in the past couple of months. However, the flaws in the Havahart design become apparent over time:

    1) There is too much space between the wires at key locations, especially right at the back – raccoons can easily reach through and grab the bait unless it is secured in some fashion. They can also reach through from the inside and dig in an attempt to escape – makes quite a mess, a lot of which can get dragged into the trap.

    2) The handle is flimsy and poorly attached, it keeps coming loose.

    3) Raccoons are smart, and some can find ways of escaping from the Havahart, either through brute force or by reaching around the door and pulling on the spring (there’s a YouTube video of one doing exactly this).

    4) The metal is already badly corroded, even though I carefully wash it down and dry it after each use.

    I ordered a Tomahawk. The superior design is obvious from the start. ALL wires are closely spaced, so no reaching through. The door and locking mechanism look much more effective and escape-proof. It weighs about five pounds more than the Havahart, which seems to say something about the construction. Plus this one has a latched sliding rear door, so bait placement and releasing of racoons is much easier.




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