Around Slovakia

Scythe attacker shot
First child of 2001 to be sent to orphanage
Gophers transported to protected area

Rimavská Sobota
Scythe attacker shot

Police were forced to fire two shots May 12 at an aggressive 57 year-old man in Vinica who had threatened his neighbour with a scythe. The conflict between the attacker and his 51 year-old neighbour allegedly arose from a misunderstanding and escalated to the violent threats.
When police arrived on the scene the angry attacker, rather than surrender the scythe, ran directly towards them waving the scythe in front of him. The officers immediately warned the man to stop, but said they were forced to shoot, wounding him in his left leg, when he continued his approach towards them. The man is now facing charges of attacking public officials.

First child of 2001 to be sent to orphanage

'Millenium Veronika' - the first baby born in Slovakia in 2001 - will soon be sent to a Košice orphanage. Veronika, her three year-old brother Arpy and two year-old sister Darinka have been hospitalised at Košice's Louis Pasteur Hospital after being brought in by social workers. Their parents have been reported missing.
After their parents sold a flat given to them by Košice magistrates as local government assistance to poor families, the family moved to another flat, but were soon forced out after utility charges were left unpaid, leaving the family homeless.
"The mother called us saying she had no place to stay with the kids, and asked us to take the children temporarily to our orphanage," Košice social worker Mária Hrčková said May 14. "We arranged everything, but she never called again."
The children will be sent to another orphanage in Sečovce. It is not thought that the 29 year-old mother will face charges because she did not leave the children alone but asked an adult to take care of them.

Muránska planina
Gophers transported to protected area

Sixty-four gophers caught at Košice airport by employees of the Muránska Planina National Park over the last three weeks have been taken to their natural habitat near the village of Muráň, park authorities said. The park wants to transport a minimum of 50 more gophers found in other areas of Slovakia back to the central Slovak region, saying that the Muráň area was once well-populated with gophers, but that the numbers have dwindled in past years.
Taking the rodents back will help rebuild local fauna populations as gophers would also serve as food for birds of prey. It will also lessen the risks of accidents at Košice airport.
Because gophers are a prime source of food for birds of prey, many birds would fly around the airport in hope of swooping on one of the estimated 1,000 gophers near the site, and thus endanger some flights.

Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports

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