Dirtiest child in Slovakia lives in Bratislava
On May 29, at the Bratislava sport hall Starz, ten finalists took part in the competition "The dirtiest child in Slovakia." The contest, which was part of celebrations on International Children's Day, involved puzzle-making, making cardboard boxes and footraces. The final event required contestants to cover themselves in mud and compete for the dirtiest appearance.
The winner of both the dirtiest child event and the overall competition was Jakub Hamšik from Bratislava. Hamšik won a free two-year supply of Arile washing detergent, as well as 100,000 Slovak crowns ($2,200) towards his future education. When asked how he would use the money, he replied "I would like to study abroad, and then afterwards to work on a farm with animals."
Body hauled from river
The body of an unidentified 30 to 40-year-old man was found in the Small Danube river (a branch of the Danube proper) on May 29 by a 50 year-old man rowing on the river. The deceased had been in the water 12 to 14 days, and an autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a bullet in the head fired from a revlover of unknown calibre. Police are investigating.
Lexa wants better cigarettes
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) MP and former Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Ivan Lexa complained from his Nitra jail cell that he cannot purchase his favourite cigarettes (Milde Sorte) at the prison bufet. The complaint was reported by one of Lexa's lawyers, Ľubomir Hlbocan, on May 26. A spokesperson for the Slovak Prison and Justice Guard Director General explained that prison bufets typically offer cigarette brands according to the preferences of prisoners, which usually means "cheaper brands, because prisoners are usually hard up." The highest quality brand offered at the Nitra Prison bufet now is Marlboro.
Marksman wings neighbour instead of tin can
Two brothers were charged with careless use of a firearm on May 29 when a pig-killing celebration turned tragic.
Rastislav M. has been using a 5.6 millimetre pistol to slaughter four hogs which he intended to roast at a celebration of a family member's diamond jubilee anniversary. Following the massacre he put the gun down on a chair, whereupon it was picked up by his brother Robert.
Robert then threw a tin can in the air as a target and fired at it. He missed the can, but struck his 43 year-old neighbour, Lydia K., in the shoulder and lung. The victim, who had been sunbathing on her lawn, will be in hospital 50 days for recovery.
Researcher warns against bringing home wild animals
With the April and May mating frenzy in the wilderness areas of the Low and High Fatras completed, the end of May and the beginning of June marks the time of year when young offspring are at their most numerous, said Miroslav Šaniga, a wildlife researcher for the Forest Ecology Institute at the Slovak Academy of Science research station in Staré Hory. Now is the best time of year to see the newest animal generations, but Šaniga warned that people would cause them great harm if they "interfere" and bring the animals home, as they could either die or never be able to survive in the wilderness alone again.
Šaniga issued a specific warning concerning young birds which may appear abandoned by their parents but are likely hunting for food. "Many people think that these feeble flying offspring have been abandoned and they take them home," he said. "They are making a mistake because the birds will definitely die in a flat or a house. Also, it is illegal."
Orphan cub baptised in Zoo
A bear cub orphan less than a year old was baptised "Miško" by Jadranka Handlovšká, MC of television weather forecasts and entertainment programs for the Markíza TV station, June 1 at Bojnice Zoo. The special occasion was attended by hundreds of children in a specially organised celebration of "International Children's Day," which also included elephant training, pavement drawing contests and a performance by "Sykorky," a children's choir from the nearby village of Veľka Lehota.
According to zoo director Vladimír Šrank, the bear cub was recently found "exhausted and all alone" in the Low Tatras, but was then transported to Bojnice where animal nurses Katarina Tomková and Alena Halušková "saved his life." Miško's stay at the zoo will be short-lived, Škrank added, because Bojnice already has two brown bears. Therefore, he will be offered to other zoos in Europe or sent over seas. Miško will not leave Slovakia, however, before he stars in the upcoming film "Falconer Tomaš."
During the festivities, Miško was "a lively, playful little bear," observers noted, although he still distrusts human beings. Festival organisers also reported that Miško displayed a taste for Vinea (a Slovak soft drink made from grapes) but that he showed no interest in cake or marzipan, which were given to him as gifts.
Compiled by Chris Togneri