Around Slovakia

"Miss Slovakia" title to be decided in court
Return of the migratory birds
Paintings of mentally ill on display
Rivers still at dangerous levels
Antelopes freed from zoo
Young thug steals ten crowns and non-alcoholic drink

"Miss Slovakia" title to be decided in court

Aneta Kuklová (centre) was recently crowned Miss Slovakia; the runners-up were Zuzana Sršňová (right) and Alena Manová.
photo: TASR

The winner of the first of two "Miss Slovakia" contests in 1999 was model Aneta Kuklová of Lučenec. Kuklová won at a pageant held on March 7 in Nitra; a second "Miss Slovakia" contest, organised by Oklamak Productions and Forza Agency, will take place in April. To avoid having two reigning "Miss Slovakia's," the right to the title will be awarded to the winner of an impending court battle.
Kuklová, this year's first "Queen of Slovakia," stands 175 centimetres tall, weighs 55 kilograms and has chest-waist-hip measurements of 90-60-92. The nineteen-year-old was awarded a Citroen Xara and will now have the opportunity to represent Slovakia in the prestigious Miss Universe contest on May 26 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Zuzana Sršňová, an eighteen-year-old economy student from Banská Bystrica, was the runner-up in the contest, winning the dual title of "First Vice-Miss" and "Miss Nice." "Second Vice-Miss" was awarded to nineteen-year-old Alena Manová from Pezinok. Both Sršňová and Manová will accompany Kuklová to the Caribbean.

Staré Hory
Return of the migratory birds

The annual return of migratory birds to Slovak mountains, meadows and forests has again begun, said bird expert Miroslav Šaniga of the Slovak Academy of Science Forest Ecology Institute Research Station.
Šaniga explained that over 230 bird species nest in Slovakia, half of which migrate to warmer areas during the winter months. So far this year, mountain wagtails, white wagtails, thrushes, buntings and wild geese have been the first birds to return, Šaniga said, adding that ten to fifteen species will return during March.
As for the rest of the line-up, he reported that swallows are expected in mid-April while spotted woodpeckers, fly-catchers and swifts will be the last to return in mid-May. Šaniga explained that the tardiness of the latter three species was due to the fact that of all Slovak birds they migrate the farthest, choosing Africa as their winter home.

Paintings of mentally ill on display

The Hungarian Independent Christian Organisation (BARKA) opened an art exhibition on March 21 in Komárno. The exhibition features "the inner world of fifteen mentally ill people between the ages of twenty and thirty," said Budapest art teacher Bea Bethoová. "According to this special visual programme, the artists manage to portray the hidden world of colours and forms [experienced in the minds of the mentally ill]."
The exhibition will also be shown in Dunajska Streda, Galanta, Bratislava and Prague. All paintings were by Hungarian artists and can be seen at the Gallery of the Benedictine Monastery.

Rivers still at dangerous levels

The rivers of Bodrag, Latorica and Trnavka were still at flood danger levels while a second-degree flood emergency was issued for the Tisa and Ondava rivers (Košice region) on March 9, said the Trebišov District Office. The situation has only slightly improved since last week, said several local mayors.
In the nearby Michalovce region, water engineers have diverted flood run-off into a dry polder in the south-eastern Slovak village of Besa in order to keep the Bodrag River below nine and a half metres. In spite of the precautions, cellars have been flooded, public wells have become inundated and Latorica River dam has "slipped," officials reported. Over 77% of all agricultural land was either "under water or saturated" as of March 10.

Antelopes freed from zoo

Four antelopes who were formerly being held in the Bratislava Zoo were granted their walking papers. They will join eleven other antelopes from various European zoos on their journey to freedom in Tunisia's Sidi Toui National park. Before they go, zoo officials stated, the antelopes will be paired in hopes that the females will conceive and give birth in their new wilderness homes.
Their trek will lead them first through Dvur Kralove nad Labem Zoo (Czech Republic) where they will meet two other female antelopes. Then the party will travel to Ostende Airport in Belgium and fly to their final destinations in Africa.

Dubnica nad Váhom
Young thug steals ten crowns and non-alcoholic drink

Police in the town of Dubnica nad Váhom have recently begun investigating a local bully, fourteen-year-old Patrick S., for a series of aggravated assaults and robberies committed in February.
According to the police, the suspect repeatedly throttled an eleven-year-old boy while demanding "money for non-alcoholic beverages." On one occasion, when the victim refused to comply, Patrick S. stole ten crowns ($.25) from the boy's pocket. At other times, the perpetrator stole non-alcoholic beverages from the boy's backpack.

Compiled by Chris Togneri

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