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Around Slovakia

Mating frogs get lifts to haven
Five bear cubs need new home
Shooting at border leaves three dead
Biked there, seen that

Trenčín
Mating frogs get lifts to haven

THE FOR Nature association from Trenčín has organised a help service called 'Frog Taxi' to help love-struck amphibians get safely to their mating destinations.
For Nature has helped some 300 frogs so far, carrying them over busy roads in six locations in Trenčín, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, and Piešťany districts.
Volunteers gather after dawn with buckets full of water to collect the frogs and carry them to safety.
Every year, hundreds of frogs are run over by cars on their way to mating havens.
The NGO distributed leaflets in local mailboxes to activate as many volunteers as possible. For Nature's Drahoš Stano said his NGO was doing a service to society.
The frogs are protected by law, he said, and their value ranges from Sk2,000 ($42) to Sk10,000 ($210).
"By carrying 300 frogs across the roads we have saved Sk600,000 ($12,500) for the country," Stano said.


Košice
Five bear cubs need new home


BABY bears - require kind owners.
photo: TASR

A BEAR from Košice zoo recently gave birth to five baby bears whose fate is uncertain.
Because the zoo already has four bears and limited space and finances to feed its animals, it has offered the cubs to several western zoos, but none are interested in having them. The bear cubs were born on January 6 to mother bear Maťa and father bear Kubo, who was castrated shortly after he mated.
The cubs will be kept alive while the Dutch International Bear Foundation, interested in building a bear shelter in Košice, searches for a suitable home.
Košice zoo director Karol Seman said annual food expenses per bear were Sk25,000 ($521), money that his zoo, which houses 829 animals, could not afford to pay.


Koromľa
Shooting at border leaves three dead

SLOVAK border police on the frontier with Ukraine on March 19 detained a Russian-speaking foreigner who had aroused the suspicions of locals, but failed to disarm him. From the back seat of a police car the man shot two of the soldiers in the back of the head, and the man in the seat beside him in the neck.
He then dragged the bodies out of the car and fled in the police vehicle. He was himself shot and killed half an hour later by border police.
Only one of the three original border guards survived, and gave evidence the next day from hospital. Slovakia's border with Ukraine, long a favourite of people smugglers for its light patrols, has recently caused concern among European Union member states.


Bratislava
Biked there, seen that

GEORGIAN native Džumber Ležava, who for eight years and seven months now has been on a bike journey around the world, stopped in Slovakia on March 18.
The 62-year-old man, who holds several Guinness records, visited Slovakia as his 208th country and still has to bike through 20 more to get home to Tbilisi where he started on August 13, 1993.
"It has shown me that the world is smaller than I thought. And the majority of people are almost the same everywhere - well-meaning and cordial, whether they live on green islands in the ocean, in overcrowded New York, or in the Sahara desert," the traveller said.
Ležava, who owns a temporary diplomatic passport issued by the United Nations, has so far biked over 247,000 kilometres.
A few years ago, Ležava gained his first Guinness record for doing 4,447 push ups in one hour, a record he later improved several times.

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