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[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/everythings-worse-with-wolves_batb4_3216.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:As if being lost in a spooky forest wasn't bad enough...]]-]

->''"[[WelcomeToCorneria Best stay here in town]] - those dire wolves can rip your anus apart in mere seconds!"''
-->-- '''Canadian Citizen''', ''VideoGame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth''

As alpha predators and clever pack hunters, wolves have often been feared and hated by humans. They frequently preyed on human livestock and, in Europe, humans themselves to the extent that serious efforts were made to wipe them out of the region. This reputation bled over into fiction where wolves were portrayed as nasty, savage and rapacious predators seemingly bent on devouring everyone they could. Give them some intelligence and they'll be cruel, nasty and sadistic.

Because wolves are pack hunters, this makes them even more dangerous. One wolf is easily capable of killing an unarmed human, but bring out a dozen or so and suddenly they can devour anything in their path, especially the ill or weak humans we want to protect most like women, children and the elderly.

Note that while this trope usually comes in the form of a pack of wolves, it can equally apply to a lone one. [[ConservationOfNinjitsu Bonus points if it's much more dangerous and persistent than a single wolf has any right to be.]]

Compare and contrast the more recent trope NobleWolf, which features wolves as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin noble]], proud, reasonable or even outright heroic. When the two tropes intersect, they will still be very dangerous and not to be underestimated or disrespected.

See also TheBigBadWolf and {{Hellhound}}. Compare animals that share similar reputations, such as {{bears|AreBadNews}} and [[ThreateningShark sharks]].

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Subverted when the crew was in Upper Yard. The wolves appear menacing at first, but after their leader is impressed by Nami's ferocity, they join the campfire.
** Played straight when the crew invades [[TheAlcatraz Impel Down]]. There are wolves guarding the fifth floor and they were moved from Level 2 so they wouldn't kill all the other beasts there!
* ''Manga/GingaNagareboshiGin'': Some of the wolves are bad but it's averted with those who help Gin and his pack go to the Underworld to save Cross and her puppies.
* In ''Anime/TheTibetanDog'', a pack of wolves attack the sheep Tenzing is herding, but they're driven away by BigDamnHeroes Tibetan Mastiffs.
* In ''Literature/ArashiNoYoruNi'', Gabu and his wolf pack start out as this. Gabu eventually [[HeelFaceTurn changes when he meets and befriends Mei]], but his pack doesn't.
* One episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' portrays a pack of Houndour like this. However, it becomes Subverted when it's revealed [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes why]].
* The Wolf in ''ChirinNoSuzu''. Ruthless and vicious, he kills whatever he can sink his fangs into -- including Chirin's mother. [[spoiler:Subverted because Chirin soon grew fond of the Wolf, seeing him as a father. In fact, near the end, after killing Wolf, he soon felt sad and realized that revenge wasn't satisfying.]]
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** In an early storyline, the normally friendly wolf {{youkai}} Royakan is unwillingly transformed into a monstrous, berserk beast that can vomit up packs of equally vicious normal-sized wolves.
** A later storyline introduces a whole tribe of wolf youkai, infamous for eating humans and destroying entire human villages in the process. Led by the humanoid wolf youkai Kouga, these wolves destroy three human villages (including Rin's, killing everyone there including Rin herself) before encountering Inuyasha's group. By the end of this first encounter, however, Kouga becomes enamored enough of Kagome that he forbids his tribe from attacking humans and they become [[NobleWolf Noble Wolves]] instead.
* ''ZettaiKarenChildren'', Hatsune doesn't have to transform to be feral.
* The {{Nasuverse}} has one in the form of the white wolf, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Primate Murder]]. Though it's never directly appeared in any of the franchise's main works, the [[GaiasVengeance beast]] is easily one of, if not ''the'', most dangerous creatures in the setting thanks to its signature ability: [[KillAllHumans The absolute authority to decide whether a human lives or dies.]] Ranked as #1 of the [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Twenty-Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors]], the only thing keeping Primate Murder from enacting a mass genocide is the fact that seven Counter Guardians, ancient heroes on par with King Arthur and Alexander the Great, are working around the clock to keep it restrained.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* A ''Comicbook/DraculaLives'' story featuring Literature/SolomonKane has Dracula saving the man from a pack of wolves before inviting him to his castle.
* ComicBook/IdeesNoires: One gag [[spoiler:has a man lost in the snow wandering around thinking he is doomed. Then he sees lights in the distance and thinks it's a city, but it turns out to be the GlowingEyesOfDoom of a group of wolves.]]
* The wolf shown in the beginning of the film/comic ''Film/ThreeHundred'' is depicted as demonic and threatening.
* Fenris from the ''ComicBook/{{Lucifer}}'' comics manages to take revenge for his fellow mythologies by stomping into a story arc almost entirely populated by Judeo-Christian characters and instantly becoming one of the most threatening antagonists. When one challenges him for this he points out that before humanity cowered before demons they feared the wolves beneath the trees, proceeding to become the BigBad through raw {{Badass}}ery.
* Kyle Abbot from ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'' and ''Comicbook/{{Batwoman}}''. A werewolf shape-shifter who worships crime. He becomes disillusioned by his peer's interpretation, and breaks off into his own sect, the true believers. He's an occasional ally of Batwoman.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' fanfiction ''Fanfic/AngelasPetMonster'' has Sylvia Schneider, a wolf-like monster with [[VertebrateWithExtraLimbs four legs, two retractable arms, and wings]] who acts as TheDragon to [[BigBad Waternoose]]. Did we mention she's an AxCrazy {{Yandere}}? Oh, and she can camouflage, just like her ex-boyfriend, Randall. [[ParanoiaFuel Sweet dreams!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'': The wolves are a danger to Belle and her father and even manage to injure the Beast.
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'': [[BigBad Lord Shen's]] henchmen are wolves.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfKells'', when [[TheFairFolk Aisling]] sics her wolves on Brendan as he's traveling through the forest in search of oak galls. Later inverted when [[spoiler:Aisling sics them on the Vikings that are about to kill Brendan and Aidan in a BigDamnHeroes moment.]]
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' features a scene in which the heroes are pursued by a pack of wolves similar to the Beauty and the Beast example.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* ''Literature/WhiteFang'' - For a Disney film, the scenes where the characters are being hunted by a pack of wolves in the opening 20 minutes or so is almost downright terrifying.
* In ''Never Cry Wolf'', another Disney film, Tyler is at first afraid of the wolves and has a nightmare about being chased by them. Subverted when he actually meets the wolves, and they're nothing like that.
* A pack of mystic wolves are the main antagonists in ''Film/{{Wolfen}}''.
* ''Film/TheGrey'': The survivors of a plane crash in Alaska not only have to survive the elements, but survive the pack of wolves that is chasing them down.
* ''Film/{{Frozen}}'': Wolves take predatory interest in Dan after he jumps from the ski lift and breaks his legs.
* ''Film/LookWhosTalking Now'' featured a group of wolves during the final act of the film.
* The name of the eponymous protagonist of ''Film/LoneWolfMcQuade'' is clearly supposed to invoke this.
* In the third ''Film/{{Riddick}}'' movie, a wounded Riddick wakes up after being left for dead on a barren planet by the Necromongers. He is quickly sighted by a pack of alien wolf/dog creatures who pursue him. Subverted later on when he discovers a lone pup, whom he eventually raises to become a loyal companion.
* A theme in ''Film/TheCompanyOfWolves'' too.
* As the cast of ''Film/DayOfTheAnimals'' sleeps peacefully after their first day of backpacking, a lone wolf suddenly attacks Mandy and scars her face badly. This forces her and her husband Frank to split up from the others to get to the local forest ranger point.
* ''TheDayAfterTomorrow'' features a pack of wolves that menace some of the main characters in New York City.
* ''Film/SnowWhiteATaleofTerror''. They even have glowing yellow eyes, and eat at least one human.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Inverted at first in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'' then played straight after the wolf who's keeping them in line dies and they revert to their natural instincts, which include killing any werewolves they come across, ([[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent even Angua]]). She doesn't begrudge their hostility though, she knows and accepts that they have some pretty good reasons to hate werewolves.
%%* Implied in Literature/{{Halvgudene}}
* Creator/JRRTolkien liked this one. Packs of intelligent wolves (called Wargs) threaten the main characters of both ''Literature/TheHobbit'' and ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. However, Tolkien does make a distinction between regular, rarely dangerous wolves, and the decidedly more monstrous Wargs, who always directly serve the bad guys in his legendarium.
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' the father of werewolves Draugluin appears, as does their most terrible offspring Carcharoth.
* In a story by ''Saki'', [[spoiler:two men, the heads of feuding houses, are badly injured and trapped in the woods. No sooner do they decide to put their differences aside do they hear a rustling in the bushes. One man can see their presumed rescuers coming. When the second man asks if they are his men or the other man's men,]] the first man answers with one word. ''"Wolves."''
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': While he's watching the Alphas in action Harry notes that, in this age of guns and helicopters, humans have forgotten why we used to be afraid of wolves, and that there are several ''very good'' reasons.
* ''Literature/TheWolvesOfWilloughbyChase'': Im an alternate England where packs of wolves roam the 19th century Yorkshire countryside, the young heroine is almost killed when one such pack ''attacks a train''. She's only saved when the man sharing her carriage stabs the wolf that's got in with them to death.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', most wolves are considered SavageWolves, but the direwolves adopted by the Stark children vary according to the personality of their owner and how well they're trained. Among the most savage are:
** Shaggydog, Rickon's direwolf. He is untrained and is as feral as his owner. He is known to attack unprovoked, and bites Maester Luwin and pounces on Big and Little Walder when they hit Rickon during a game.
** Nymeria, Arya's direwolf. She was originally well-trained, but since [[ShooTheDog being driven off]] early in the first book, she has gone feral and now leads a huge pack (numbering in the hundreds) of ordinary wolves which threaten both livestock and man throughout the Riverlands.
** There's also Grey Wind, who belongs to Robb. While not wild or uncontrollable, he rids beside Robb into battle. He quickly becomes TheDreaded, with people talking about a huge wolf tearing men and horses apart.
* In ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'', [[BigBad the White Witch]] has a pack of wolves that serve as her secret police. The pack's Alpha, named Maugrim, even acts as her [[TheDragon second-in-command]].
* In Bryan Miranda's ''Literature/TheJourneyToAtlantis'',
** The boys go hunting for food, and run into a wolf. You'd think it would easy for four of them to take down one single wolf, but it's not. They are helpless until the dog, Maxie Jr., shows up to distract the wolf, at witch point they gain the upper hand and kill it. Later on, when they need wolf pelts to survive the snow, they go looking specifically for more wolves, and find a whole family in a cave. Although three of them plan to take on the entire cave (which would have been suicide), some {{Divine Intervention}} from Sol comes in the form of a lightning bolt that kills most of the wolves, leaving only three for the humans to fight.
** The antagonist, Loki, also takes the form of a crimson-colored wolf. He is not seen with any other wolves, but attacks Mickello directly once every year in an attempt to kill him or injure him.
* A theme in Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber" (filmed as Film/TheCompanyOfWolves)
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''His Last Command'', Gaunt remembers how Colm Corbec would tell stories of wolves circling "the stranded, the unlucky, the lost" to bring them down; his current situation, being stalked by an unseen Chaos creature, reminds him.
* ''Literature/AesopsFables''
** In "The Boys Who Cried Wolf", wolves are depicted as a major threat to shepherds flocks.
** In "The Wolf and the Lamb" the titular wolf invents false accusations against the titular lamb in order to justify eating him.
* In Creator/JohnMilton's ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Satan's approach to Eden is like this.
-->''As when a prowling Wolfe,\\
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,\\
Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve\\
In hurdl'd Cotes amid the field secure,\\
Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould:''
* In ''Literature/WhiteFang'', wolves are presented as harsh and savage, but the hero, being part dog, eventually rises above his instincts to become "tamed"... After being forced into dog-fighting along the way, although "fight" is not accurate - "execution" comes closer. It got to the point where they had to tie him up for the start of the fight, otherwise he'd kill the other dog before it had finished its preliminary snarl-and-threaten routine. Once the dog had finished its routine, it would almost certainly not be any more merciful.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Folklore]]
* NorseMythology
** Fenris, the giant wolf fated to devour Odin himself.
** Fenris' sons, Hati and Skoll, who are destined to devour the moon and sun.
** The negative perception of wolves is directly responsible for the modern Swedish name for wolves: varg, meaning "killer" or "strangler". Folklore had it that saying wolves' proper name (''ulv'') would [[SpeakOfTheDevil call them]], or at least cause bad things to happen, which lead to wolves being called what they were seen as (murderous brutes). Problem was, this became so wide-spread and went on for so long that varg ended up as the proper name for a wolf, and the folklore about speaking their name being bad remained.
* One of the symbols of Ancient Rome was the wolf. This grew out of legends that Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, were literally RaisedByWolves. However, contrary to modern perceptions, they didn't adopted the wolf because of any inherent "specialness" attributed - they hated the animal just as much as everyone else around them. Rather, the story is symbolic of how vicious the Romans saw themselves to be.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "Music/PeterAndTheWolf" depicts the titular wolf as a the primary antagonist, with him eating at one of the other characters and attempting to eat the rest.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Podcasts]]
* The ''Jade Regent'' Campaign from Podcast/{{RPGMP3}} features a character called Skygni, who's a [[UpliftedAnimal magically Awakened]] [[BreathWeapon frost breathing]] [[AnIcePerson Winter Wolf]]. He swore a [[MagicallyBindingContract Blood Oath]] (under duress) to avoid eating people, at least, not the ones travelling with the heroes' caravan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Wolves in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' are green most of the time. The [[http://magiccards.info/mm/en/252.html pack aspect]] tends to get played up on wolf-related cards too, often with some ability leading to [[http://magiccards.info/wwk/en/118.html more wolves]] joining the fray.
* While ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' depicts wolves themselves are depicted as morally neutral and they are even available as companions for heroic characters, the monstrous Worgs (taken from Tolkien's "Wargs") and Winter Wolves are invariably evil and dangerous.
* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'',
** Garou of any alignment embody this trope when overcome with rage.
** The [[EvilCounterpart Black Spiral Dancers]] are more savage than Gaia Garou and Red Talons also fit in this group.
* ''{{Traveller}}'' The Vargr are wolves and other canines genetically engineered by the {{Precursors}} . They are great merchants and pirates, but they are incapable of organizing and so aren't as effective in a straight fight as [[HumansAreWarriors humans]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Madfang Ragewolf from ''VideoGame/{{Patapon}} 3'' is one of the main antagonists of the game. He is linked to an archfiend and represents the [[SevenDeadlySins Deadly Sin]] of Rage.
* ''VideoGame/SpiralKnights'' has Wolvers, they are quick, depending on the breed can inflict status effects, and if they're accompanied by an Alpha, their attack increases, players will often be killed by a pack of wolvers at least once in their in-game life.
* ''The Note'' had wolves as early encounters.
* ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'': wolves are early enemies.
* In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', wolves are tough, highly aggressive, persistent, have a knack for showing up precisely when you don't need them do, love to kill your horses, and ''attack in waves''. You gun down four or five of them, look around, and the coast seems clear, only for another batch to arrive just as you put your gun away.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Gun}}''
* ''VideoGame/FridayThe13th'': Wolves act as enemies in the forested areas.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' you'll occasionally run into packs of wolves as enemies. There's even one specific encounter on the overworld map that can be especially vicious on higher difficulties, a rare form of That One RandomEncounter.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', it's not uncommon for a player to find themselves attacked by two or three wolves at once. They're easy to kill, but they can become ParanoiaFuel if you can hear the howls but are unable to see them or know the direction the howls come from. The [[GoddamnBats worst part of the wolves]] is that they may infect you with Rockjoint plague which severely reduces your fighting ability.
* ''VideoGame/{{Cataclysm}}'': Wolf packs are one of the worse non-zombie threats {{roguelike}}. They're made all the worse by the fact that their letter color can make them ''very'' hard to spot before they're on top of you.
* In ''Videogame/{{Minecraft}}'', wolves normally mind their own business, and can even be tamed and used as guard animals but if you attack a wolf, it and its whole pack go berserk and try to kill you.
* ''VideoGame/MediEvil'': Latter portion of the cemetery stages feature wolves. In order to leave the cemetery, you have to fight two stone wolves which guard it.
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'', ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'', and ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'', wolves are the archetypical wild predator of the wilderness. If Age of Empires II is played without the expansion, wolves are the only predator in a game, that ranges geographically from Europe to the Middle East, to Asia. Age of Mythology is also the only game of the series where wolves can be hunted for food, otherwise they are just a menace deadly to villagers.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'',
** Wolves will attack Connor whenever they can get to him.
** Connor's AnimalMotif - besides the eagle that all Assassins identify with - is that of a wolf, to indicate his predatory hunting style. The name "[[MeaningfulName Connor]]" even means "lover of wolves".
* In ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' V, wolves are one available type of neutral monster. Their individual stats are average, [[FragileSpeedster comparing poorly with the human soldiers one level below except for their VERY high initiative]], but their two special abilities are this trope done in a very dangerous form. Not only can each stack summon an equally large stack once per battle, but when one wolf stack attacks the enemy, ALL wolf stacks able to attack that enemy will do so as a free action. This is as painful as it sounds.
** Back in ''I'' and ''II'', wolves were one of the Barbarians' recruitable creatures (stronger than both goblins and orcs). In both of those games, Barbarians were defined as an Evil town...
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'': Wolves, and other creatures in the wolf family, can be dangerous depending on your level, because unlike with most other enemies, it is difficult to lure them to you one at a time, so you'll usually have to deal with entire packs.
* ''VideoGame/TombRaider2013'' often features packs of wolves attacking you. Even worse, one level has you enter their den to get supplies.
* The final boss of ''SuikodenII'', the beast rune, which is shown to be the embodiment of feral and murderous evil, is presented in the form of a massive, two-headed wolf.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan''
** Treble is an EvilCounterpart CombiningMecha [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot robot wolf]].
** His {{expy}} Velguarder, Sigma's pet, from ''VideoGame/MegaManX''.
* The wolves in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' will attack you (but not Meryl, they seem to like women) on sight, unless you have Sniper Wolf's handkerchief or use a trick that involves Meryl.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** Many Wolf-type enemies have an ability that causes them to howl and alert other nearby wolves of the player's presence, effectively swamping you if you're not very careful.
** There's [[AlwaysChaoticEvil the Worgen]], such as the Sons of Arugal, original members of the Druids of the Pack, and the Gilnean Worgen (which are playable). Heck, one such Gilnean Worgen picks up a STAGECOACH and starts BEATING PLAYERS WITH IT.
** Goldrinn...goddamn, Goldrinn. Goldrinn revered as a minor god for good reason. Even the Orcs respect the Wolf-God (though they call him Lo'Gosh). The guy is best known for possessing King Varian Wrynn, being utterly wrathful, being the source of the Worgen curse, and [[OneManArmy tearing out the throats of legions of]] [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Burning Legion]] demons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] in ''Literature/{{Tasakeru}}'', where wolves are one of the eight sentient species. The other species ''think'' they're scary, primitive, carnivorous savages, but they're just following very old traditions.
* The [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/insanity-wolf Insanity Wolf]] meme.
* ''{{Neopets}}'' - While the pirate Captain Scarblade is a savage pirate, not all Lupes, a wolf-like species, are evil or vicious.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The Wolf Apocalypse in ''Webcomic/{{Gunshow}}'', which was caused by God who had forgotten Jesus's birthday, and was trying to make it up to him.
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', the woods are known to house wolves, which is why Perrault refuses to believe that November came through the woods alone. However, the actual wolves appear only as skins in Red's cottage.
* ''SupernormalStep'':
** The main enemy of Chapter Three is an EldritchAbomination named Fenris, whose form is a Wolf with GlowingEyesOfDoom and {{poison| is corrosive}}ous {{breath| weapon}}.
** Reynardine falls under this indirectly, even though he's actually a fox. Since possessing Annie's wolf doll, he seems to be undergoing a slow HeelFaceTurn - in particular, he's noticeably less of a "jerkface" when he takes the form of a full-sized wolf, rather than his usual pint-sized plushy form.
* Vorg from ''WebComic/CwensQuest'' is a WolfMan with the personality of a corperate shark [[http://www.drunkduck.com/Cwens_Quest/index.php?p=494901 plus ax crazy]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' - the band's therapist tries to attack them but falls out a window. He survives the multi-story fall, but then gets his arms ripped off by wolves who live in the compound (though he survives that and gets a new pair of mechanical arms).
* In the WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic
** [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E11FamilyAppreciationDay Family Appreciation Day]], there are timber wolves (literally made of timber).
** They reappear in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E10SpikeAtYourService Spike At Your Service]], where they demonstrate the ability to [[MakeMyMonsterGrow combine into one big wolf]].
* Disney's own [[Disney/ThreeLittlePigs Big Bad Wolf]]?
* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' called "Cape Feare", grandpa Simpson is in front of the Simpson house and says "I'm cold and there are wolves after me" (cue scary howl... in the middle of the day). Also, in one episode, Groundskeeper Willy goes mano-a-wolf-o with an escaped Alaskan timber wolf, "Whose jaws can bite through a parking meter."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* It's been widely reported that in WWI two armies of German and Russian soldiers sighed a temporary cease fire in order to fight off hundreds of wolves that tried to eat them. Its unknown if this is true but there were some incredibly violent wolf attacks during the Great War caused by all the environmental destruction happening at the time. The wolves were smart enough to move out of the way when the fighting started but the humans shot and blew up nearly everything else.
[[/folder]]

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