Media Kit | Indraloka Animal Sanctuary

Media Kit

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Dalton, PA, USA.
The information below is intended for members of the media.

Sanctuary Fact Sheet

  • Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Indra Lahiri, Ph.D., in 2005. It provides lifelong care for the animals it rescues, rehabilitates and houses.
  • Indraloka focuses on helping animals who are in the most dire of circumstances—animals suffering from abuse, neglect, debilitating injuries and serious illness. 
  • Indraloka pioneers educational programs for children that integrate STEAM-based learning with teaching respect, compassion and acceptance of themselves and others. Classes also help children make the connection between their own health and wellbeing and that of the environment and animals. Children learn to work cooperatively and autonomously, which builds confidence and self-esteem.
  • As an ecological organization, Indraloka composts approximately 90% of its waste and recycles or reuses all other refuse.
  • As of April 2022, Indraloka is home to approximately 200 cows, horses, mules, alpacas, goats, sheep, farm pigs, mini-pigs, bunnies, cats, peafowl, guineafowl, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and quail. Indraloka is a global leader in sanctuary practices.
  • 12 miles from downtown Scranton, PA, Indraloka spreads across 100 acres of bucolic meadows and wooded lands. It’s ecosystem includes ponds, streams and local fauna and flora.
  • Indraloka’s ongoing events include public tours, meet and greets with the animals, meditation and nature walks, plant-based lunches/dinners, movie nights, art for all ages classes, summer camps, family days and more. 
  • Indraloka employees 14 full-time and 4 part-time staff members.

Funding

  • Indraloka is 100% funded by the generosity of its donors. Donations range from $1 to hundreds of thousands of dollars from a single donor, and every amount makes an impact. Indraloka’s cause-marketing programs partner with various local businesses.
  • Indraloka’s annual budget is $1,300,000.

Accreditations

  • Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)

The only globally-recognized organization that identifies and recognizes sanctuaries that meet rigorous standards for providing humane and responsible animal care, operations, administration and veterinary care.

  • Animal Sanctuary Association (ASA)

Accreditation given only to sanctuaries that achieve the highest ethical standards.

  • GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency

Location

  • 333 Oak Drive, Dalton, PA 18414

Media Contact Indra Lahiri | info@indraloka.org | (O) +1-570-763-2908

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MEET THE TEAM

Indra Lahiri, PhD, Founder

Indra has rescued thousands of animals from dire circumstances around the world. She tells their stories in her writing and speaking and lives amongst them between her travels. In the course of her decades of learning from the animals, Indra founded Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (2005) and since 2014 has volunteered her time as a consultant, helping other sanctuaries succeed. She teaches, mentors, coaches and delivers keynote addresses to tens of thousands of people on a range of topics that are always, at their core, based on ethical leadership and compassion for all. Indra has keynote addressed numerous conferences globally. 

Indra’s award-winning blog chronicling sacred moments with rescued animals is followed by tens of thousands of readers on every continent. Indra is grateful to have the opportunity to dedicate her life to helping traumatized animals rediscover joy, love and trust.

Before devoting herself full-time to animal rescue, as the founder of Global Inclusion Strategies, Indra provided expert coaching and consulting on communicating across differences. She is the author of an academic book chapter, a critically-acclaimed manager’s guidebook, several research reports and numerous articles on cultural competence and leadership.

The sanctuary is not named after Indra, but rather she is named after the Hindu God Indra who created Indraloka (Sanskrit name for the heaven for the Gods).

Johnny Braz, Creative Director

Johnny is a documentary filmmaker, farm animal artist and yogi. He is also a visionary who helped design Indraloka’s current animal enclosures and every aspect of the sanctuary’s physical appearance. As Creative Director, Johnny creates film and still portraits that reveal his reverence for all life and the earth herself, telling the story of Indraloka’s many rescues through his photography and films, while overseeing the sanctuary’s aesthetics and functionality.

Johnny began his filmmaking career in 1996 working as a camera operator with Clint Eastwood on “The Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years.” In 2016, he completed “Truckin’; the Story of Eddie Traffic,” an uplifting glimpse into the unique bliss experienced by a pig named Eddie, who was rescued just hours before his slaughter. Other recent films include “Peace, Love & Animals,” a documentary that has been called “a lyrical message of hope,” premiering to rave reviews at the International Animal Rights Conference 2013 in Luxembourg and in Scranton. Johnny produces numerous short animal rescue films that have garnered a worldwide audience. He has also directed episodes of “Yoga Journeys,” a children’s program on PBS TV station WVIA.

Johnny holds a deep reverence for the earth. His years of experience designing and installing alternative energy systems for homes and businesses culminated in touring twice with Bonnie Raitt as her environmental spokesperson. As Indraloka’s Creative Director, Johnny is a teacher at heart. All of his work, whether mucking stalls, filming a rescue, feeding a once-traumatized chicken by hand or teaching others how to meditate, is mindful, kind and filled with lessons through example. Johnny is honored to put his skills to work raising awareness about animal sentience worldwide.

Robin Olson, Director of Development

Robin joined Indraloka in July of 2020. She has been raising funds professionally for 18 years. Prior to working at Indraloka, Robin has worked for several children’s charities including Junior Achievement and Make-A-Wish. She holds an Executive MBA from St. Joseph’s University, and two bachelor’s degrees from Saint Louis University as well as a certificate of Fundraising Management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Sarah Thornton, Director of Education

Sarah has been an Indraloka volunteer since 2014 and has served as Director of Education since 2018. As an educator, Sarah taught instrumental music to students in grades 5 through 12 and general music for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade, for a combined 20 years in the Sullivan County School District. She has also served as a youth sports instructor, a basketball coach for elementary school-aged students and junior high school girls, youth and adult running club coach, and a camp counselor and counselor supervisor. Sarah holds a BM in Music Education from Susquehanna University and an MM in Music Education from Ithaca College. Sarah is a free-spirit dedicated to instilling joy and kindness in those around her through mindful listening, energy healing, music and the power of unconditional love.

Leslie Interlandi, DVM, Director of Veterinary Care

Leslie joins Indraloka in June 2022 to spearhead the sanctuary’s new veterinary clinic. As a Shelter Medicine specialist, Leslie brings the ideal skillset to diagnose, treat and care for problems specific to shelter animals as well as experience in general veterinary medicine. Leslie also holds Fear Free Veterinary Certification, a methodology that enables vets to reduce fear, anxiety and stress in animal patients, making vet care safer and more enjoyable for all involved.

Leslie has performed a wide range of surgeries and procedures, including spays and neutering, hernia repairs, tooth extractions and limb amputations. She has experience in treating diverse pathologies and has worked with numerous species, including equines, cows, goats, sheep, fowl, pigs, dogs and cats. After more than 25 years in her first career as  a health analytics and marketing consultant, Leslie is now in a position to pursue her passion. Through practicing Shelter Medicine, Leslie is treating animals who have been abused, abandoned, injured and neglected—the animals who need her most.

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Meet the Animals

Gus

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Snuffleupagus (Gus for short) is a Scottish Highlander who was part of a nearby herd, and she was about to be slaughtered. The farmer had gotten a gas lease, so he decided to get out of the farming business and send his whole herd off. We were able to negotiate to save just one cow from the whole herd, and we are quite grateful to have her.

When Gus first arrived at Indraloka several years ago, the farmer told us he had never touched her. She had been born on pasture and remained there with the herd, having little contact with humans. She was standoffish with us at first, but after about six months she began to relax and soon began coming to us for affection and attention.

Gus watches everything at the sanctuary underneath her shaggy bangs. She especially loves cats and spends quite a bit of time with two cats named Boo and Jinx.

Mookie

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Moksha, nicknamed “Mookie,” came to Indraloka after he was unknowingly born at a farm. He was found in a field after his mother had been sold to slaughter, so he was motherless, tiny, and very weak. Mookie was extremely thin and he was covered in bugs and sores along his spine. There was manure encrusted on Mookie’s behind, his skin was dry, and he had spots of missing fur. The farmers waited too long to start giving him a bottle of calf formula, so he wasn’t eating and was very malnourished.

Luckily, a concerned family member found out about Mookie’s condition just in time and she called for our help in making Mookie’s life better. After many phone calls, we finally convinced her that the best thing to do for Mookie would be to give him to us. 

He was taken under his wing by the resident matriarch at the time, Penny, who had a miraculous story of her own surrounding Mookie’s arrival! You can read more about their special relationship on Indraloka’s blog or by watching his rescue video below.

Mookie came out of his shell thanks to the love of Penny along with his dear goat friend, Lief, both of whom have since passed. Sometimes a fellow being’s purpose in life is to help you shine, and boy does Mookie shine!

Fancy

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Fancy was rescued from a “kill sale”– an auction where horses are sold for meat. At the time, she suffered chronic lameness and was extremely thin. Completely sound now, Fancy enjoys her retirement years lolling in the pasture, enjoying the sun and the sky and the stars. Fancy loves carrots and being scratched on the back, and she insists on licking the hands of her caretakers before she goes out into her pasture for the day. In her golden years, she has become a gentle, mellow horse and especially enjoys spending time with children. At 32, Fancy is the oldest animal at Indraloka for which we have with a documented age. She has been with Indraloka founder, Dr. Indra Lahiri, since 2003.

Mazzie

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Mazor Ner Tamid (Hebrew for Healing Eternal Light), or “Mazzie” for short, was rescued from an extreme case of cruelty and neglect by Humane Law Enforcement. He was brought to Indraloka with six other animals- four turkeys and two goats, all of whom had been living in deplorable conditions: unsafe, unsanitary, and without proper medical care. It appeared that Mazzie had suffered some sort of trauma to his back that left his spine deformed, causing partial paralysis. Because of this, he was only able to move on three legs and was barely able to move around on his own. At the time of his rescue, he couldn’t even evacuate waste without our help.

We kept a close eye on him. We nursed him to health as he slowly came to trust us, and with proper medication, physical therapy, and a whole lot of love, he began to improve immensely. He was offered a wheelchair, however, he eventually gained so much strength that he was able to move around more easily without it!

These days, Mazzie spends his days with his best friend Chandra, and he spends most of his days rooting in the sun, and yes, walking around on his own!

Sunita

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Beautiful Sunita escaped from a dire situation and was on the run for many weeks fighting for survival.

A local Humane Law Enforcement Officer worked tirelessly to gain her trust so that she could live a peaceful life here at the sanctuary and after many weeks of Sunita living on the side of the interstate and fending for herself, the officer was able to bring this clever and determined girl to the sanctuary.

Sunita was, understandably, very nervous when she arrived, but she quickly learned that we are her friends and that she is safe here. Sunita loves finding cozy, warm places to sleep, and enjoys fresh produce treats.

Patricia Marie

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Patricia Marie joined the Indraloka family in November of 2019. She was rescued with her two sisters LaVerne and Maxene from a hoarding situation. The three were named after the Andrews Sisters of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” fame.

When they were first rescued and brought home to Indraloka, they were very sick with a respiratory infection. They were also underweight and malnourished. But with a lot of loving care and delicious, healthy food, they made a full recovery and were finally able to live their lives comfortably, happily, and at peace.

Patricia is a beautiful turkey. She is also brave, inquisitive, and loyal to her friends. You will find her the first to investigate any work being done or treats being handed out! Patricia and all her feathered friends can’t wait to see the new place in Dalton!

Dominic

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In a last-ditch effort, Dominic escaped from slaughter transport and evaded the humans around him to hide himself, trembling, in a pile of hay. He was found by a kind woman from Omega Horse Rescue, who begged the “kill buyer” to spare his life. Dominic was granted 24 hours grace in which his rescuer must find him sanctuary.

After many calls to several sanctuaries, and with a team of compassionate humans from New York to Canada working to find him safety, Dominic found his home at Indraloka. When Dominic arrived, he leaped from the transport truck yet again and rushed into his quarantine stall. He enjoyed a fresh salad and greeted everyone with a sniff and a smile.

Dominic now lives with Miss Lily Pie, Eddie Traffic and Jeremiah. A truly a silly pig, he has learned a few bad manners from Lily, namely screaming for his breakfast and dinner with no apologies. However, his very favorite time is when he receives treats and produce. Dominic loves to grab his favorite foods from the pile and take them around in his mouth, with his head tilted upwards, making sure he shows everyone what he has!

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Why Do Farm Animals Need Sanctuary?

  • Most animals reach Indraloka via Humane Police Officers who have seized them through court orders after the animals have experienced abuse or extreme neglect.
  • Some animals are rescued from hoarding situations when the guardians have neither the space, nor the mental health, nor the experience to care for farm animals.
  • Some animals escape live markets or fall or jump from trucks headed to slaughter.
  • Some animals escape from factory farms and are found wandering country roads or hiding in the woods.
  • Rescues and shelters for dogs and cats abound throughout the US. Farmed animals in need are often left for dead or euthanized because there is nowhere for them to go.
  • 99% of farm animals in the US are raised in factory farms.
  • Approximately 25 million farm animals are slaughtered each day in the US.
  • Studies show that farming and ranching are responsible for 68% of all species endangerment in the US.
  • About 9%—more than 850 million—of the animals reared for food in the US each year never make it to slaughter because they have already died from a stress-induced disease or injury.
  • Nearly 10 billion farm animals were slaughtered in the US in 2021.
  • Most animals reared for meat on factory farms are slaughtered while less than one year old.
  • 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty. Yet 99% of the nearly 10 billion land-based animals, plus countless more aquatic animals, farmed for food each year in the U.S. live in unacceptable conditions that do not align with consumers’ stated values.
  • Improperly maintained farms can be breeding grounds for Salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens that can be passed to humans through meat, dairy and eggs, and through person-to-person contact.
  • Farm animals are typically fed large doses of antibiotics to offset disease. But bacteria is constantly adapting and evolving. Misuse, overuse and dependence on antibiotics in the food system creates the potential for dangerous, drug-resistant strains of bacteria to develop and spread among people and animals.
  • Waste from factory farms pollutes the water, land and air in neighboring communities, compromising both human health and environmental integrity. 
  • Factory farms consume massive quantities of finite resources, including water and fossil fuels, while releasing a number of harmful emissions.
  • Industrial animal agriculture generates more greenhouse gasses than all the world’s transportation combined and emits more than 400 types of toxic gas.

Source: ASPCA, “The Problem with Factory Farming”

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Animal Care Costs

Annual Cost of Care* by Species

Cats: $2,530
Chickens & Turkeys: $1,705
Cows: $5,070
Ducks: $600
Geese: $870
Sheep & Goats: $4,995
Equines: $11,450
Pigs: $4,820
Peafowl & Quail: $760

*Additional expenses outside the scope of ordinary care include cost of rescue, emergency care for illness/injury, palliative care and euthanasia when necessary for compassionate end of life. Those costs are not included here.

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Hopeful Heroes

Onsite and Remote
Offering innovative and engaging educational opportunities for children and teens of all ages and abilities.. The Hopeful Heroes Initiative provides learning opportunities in 4 focus areas:
Academics Outside the Classroom. STEAM learning in a fun and engaging setting helps children relax, acquire skills faster and improve academic performance.
Life Skills & Special Needs. Many youth visitors have special needs and/or could benefit from additional support in developing life skills. We offer a variety of customizable opportunities for students who need a little extra care and a more personal approach to learning.
Emotional Support. Partnering with child psychologists and emotional care organizations, this program offers therapists the opportunity to bring their clients to the sanctuary and spend time with the animals as part of the healing journey. Therapists report that children open up better and are able to begin healing more readily when they are around rescued animals with whom they often identify.
At-Risk Populations. Hopeful Heroes presents opportunities to low income and at-risk teens, many of whom are homeless, in the areas of art, music, technology and physical activity—subjects that have been reduced or entirely removed from their schools. The inclusive setting also teaches compassion, kindness and self-awareness.

Literacy Initiative

Onsite and Remote

  • First Saturday of the month. Participants bring a book to read to an animal or participate by listening to stories and/or bringing a book for someone else to read.
  • Second Saturday of the month. Age- and reading level-appropriate activities, including practicing the alphabet, writing letters, poetry, self-reflection/journaling, story writing and storytelling.

Customized Programs, Sanctuary Tours, Virtual Field Trips

Onsite, Offsite and Remote

Certified teacher volunteers work with the Director of Education and parents of students—from elementary through college levels—and educators to create curricula that can be completed with the animals. For example, learning math by using formulas to calculate animals’ body weights.

  • Particularly effective in reaching students with learning disabilities or other special needs and helping build their confidence.
  • Student groups and clubs with members ranging from ages 12-17 work on volunteer projects with their ecology, animal welfare, girl scout, boy scout and other student clubs.
  • Workshops for how to deal with bullying, nutrition, self-care, organic gardening, building self-esteem and more. 
  • School visits to share sanctuary and animal stories and help teach about environmental issues are also available.
  • Field Trips and Virtual Field Trips.
  • Particularly effective in reaching students with learning disabilities or other special needs and helping build their confidence.
  • Student groups and clubs with members ranging from ages 12-17 work on volunteer projects with their ecology, animal welfare, girl scout, boy scout and other student clubs.
  • Workshops for how to deal with bullying, nutrition, self-care, organic gardening, building self-esteem and more. 
  • School visits to share sanctuary and animal stories and help teach about environmental issues are also available.
  • Field Trips and Virtual Field Trips.

Indraloka’s Education Philosophy

  • Relationships with rescued animals help students develop empathy and compassion.
  • Reading with and to the animals reinforces literacy.
  • Exploring creative writing, visual arts, singing and musical instruments, both alone and with peers, in a safe and nurturing environment promotes critical thinking and enhances creativity.
  • Working with others at the sanctuary develops healthy forms of self-expression, creative outlets and coping strategies.
  • Exploring STEAM-related subject matter in a relaxed environment develops better problem-solving skills, enhancing ingenuity and encouraging hands-on active learning.
  • Physical activity and social sciences are imperative for a healthy child.
  • Technology is a great gift when used appropriately and creatively.
  • Students who take ownership of their academics experience greater learning satisfaction through opportunities for student-driven research.
  • Hands-on cooperative learning teaches children how to work with others and negotiate differences with kindness and healthy boundaries.

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Selected Sanctuary-Sponsored Events

Throughout the year, Indraloka sponsors fun, educational and restorative events for children and adults. Events are added frequently. Please visit our Events page for more information.

ThanksLiving

Indraloka’s largest fundraising event of the year. Guests enjoy a heartwarming ceremony where they surprise the turkeys and other birds of Indraloka with a Thanksgiving feast—cranberries, raw pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, spinach salad, blueberries and other healthy and delicious treats—created especially for them. Afterwards, guests enjoy a catered scrumptious, seasonal, plant-based meal, live music, raffles, silent auction and more.

Drop-In Days

These events take place on school holidays and offer an alternative for parents who are looking for a wonderful way for their children to spend the day.

Nurture & Nourish Series

Events held throughout the year—Sheep Shnugglin, Grateful Goats, Pumpkins for Pigs—that allow for a personal experience of the animals. 

Earth Camps 

5-day summer camps for kids ages 5-14 to enjoy a full days of outdoor adventures, time with the animals, music, storytelling, art, crafts, puzzles, games and so much more creative, playful, nature- and compassion-based fun. Themes include “Hopeful Heroes are Superheroes”; “Rock Stars Moo-vin’ and Groovin’” (music of every genre, rock art, drum circles, freeze dance, live guest performers, lip sync battles and a recital for the animals); and “Mystery, or Is It My Story” (games of mystery and the art of storytelling). Themed weeks provide structure and activities tailored to each theme. No music or storytelling experience necessary.

Public Tours

90-minute tour of the sanctuary and introductions to the beloved animals.

Intuitive Arts Classes

For children and adults of all ages, these 60-minute fun classes are held at the Art Barn. Each session is geared towards a specific area in the arts and includes a mix of structured and unstructured activities.

April Earth Day Events

Indraloka celebrates the natural beauty of Northeast Pennsylvania with annual Earth Day public events.

Halloween Event 

Knock on all the barn doors and hand out treats on this sanctuary tour that also features a scenic hayride. Costumes encouraged but not required.

Caroling and Cow Birthday Bash

Participants serenade the animals with secular winter carols while touring the sanctuary, decorate cow “birthday cakes,” and sing Happy Birthday to the four birthday cows who turn 5 in December of 2022. This non-religious event also features decorating a Gratitude Tree.

Cow Contemplation

Photograph, draw, write and/or sculpt, drawing upon the cows for inspiration.

From Mud to Lotus

Held annually, this day is dedicated to exploring creativity and inspiration through a variety of fun and spirituality-based activities.

Equinox and Solstice Celebration Events

Intention setting, meditative walks, time with the animals. Each new season is celebrated for its gifts. 

Children’s Acting and Theatre Creation

Two-part class focused on learning about acting and playmaking through theatre games, improvisation, storytelling, character creation and more.

Gebiya Sacred Drum Circle

Drumming can help release tension, dispel stress and aggressive feelings and restore energy, while helping forge a deeper connection to Mother Earth. 

Reiki for Animals Level 1&2 Certification Program

Reiki is a spiritual practice that promotes healing on many levels, and also helps with stress reduction and relaxation.

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Indraloka partners with community organizations, educators, health care providers and other nonprofits to present programs and events that serve children and adults of all ages and abilities.

Michaela Moore

Presenting theater workshops for special needs children, ages 6-12. Children learn and create in a safe environment, free of judgment and competition, and perform for supportive audiences of educators and farm animals.

Catholic Social Services and the University of Scranton

Participants tour the sanctuary, visit with the animals and learn about the environment.

NEPA Youth Shelter

For teens, ages 14 through high school graduation. STEAM learning classes and safe-space bonding experiences designed to empower young people who are affected by homelessness.

Christopher Gebiya

Creating drum circles that help create community within the natural beauty of the sanctuary.

The Wright Center for Community Health

Hosting events that help health care workers enjoy a fun and relaxing environment.

Anthony Wojnar

Presenting Reiki classes to help harness the body’s natural ability to support its own healing processes.

Pennsylvania Distance Learning

Virtual field trips and classroom activities.

Ryan’s Case for Smiles

Bringing virtual visits from the sanctuary’s farm animals to children who are hospitalized for cancer treatment and other life-changing illness.

Nativity Miguel School

Hosting field trips.

Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)

Providing healing space for the therapists and support staff of CAC to help in dealing with intense workloads that often address abuse and other difficult topics. Engaging the animals to work with youth clients, many of whom exhibit anger, to teach them ways to be gentle and kind to others and themselves while processing their their distressing circumstances.

Count-Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA)

Providing safe, fun space for youth and their advocates to bond, learn and heal in the company of rescued farm animals who have also overcome abuse and learned to trust again.

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To request high res photos and logos please fill out the form below:

Media Contact

For interviews and other media opportunities please contact: Indra Lahiri

info@indraloka.org

+1-570-763-2908

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