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Around Slovakia

Pack of wolves privately protected
33 snake babies
Brutal mom busted
Musician arrested for loan sharking
Look, no hands
Pensioner hit from front and behind
Officer arrested for not noticing Indians
A waste of history


"DO ANY harm to this reservation and we will sick the wolves on you!"
photo: SME - Stanislav Bačenko

Čergov
Pack of wolves privately protected

SLOVAKIA's first private natural reservations, Vlčia (Wolf's} in Čergov and Rysia (Lynx's) in the Strážovské hills area, officially opened on March 26 after an extended effort by the local activist group VLK.
The Vlčia reservation stretches over 21 hectares in the Prešov region in eastern Slovakia. Shortly after the official announcement, a pack of wolves ran through the reservation, the Slovak daily SME wrote.
"In addition to the wolves, there are also lynx, one female bear, and some precious types of insects that cannot be found in any other part of the country," said Juraj Lukáč from VLK.
VLK plans to expand the reservation by gradually buying local forest land from its original owners. "We want to buy it and gradually build several 200-, 300- and maybe even 500-hectare reservations," said Lukáč.
VLK raised the money for the land through public collections in Slovak towns and cities, via the internet, and through support from Slovak politicians.
One doctor from Kokava nad Rimavicou who heard about VLK's initiative donated his 37 hectares of forest land.
The 21.24-hectare Vlčia reservation contains 12,000 trees that are about 100 years old on average.



POINT out each of the 33 baby snakes.
photo: TASR

Nitra
33 snake babies

A NEST of 33 snakes was born to a boa constrictor, Francesca, in the terrarium owned by the Nitra Agricultural University, the Slovak daily Národná Obroda reported.
The babies were born on March 28, Francesca's ninth birthday.


Spišská Nová Ves
Brutal mom busted

THE RUTHLESS Marcela S, 31, was put behind bars for brutally beating her 8-year-old son.
The Slovak daily SME wrote that the woman abused her son Róbert, whom school officials called "quiet", for more than three years.
"We never noticed bruises or any other traces of physical torture, but we did receive information that the boy was stealing from a grocery store.
"He told us that his mother ordered him to do it," Daniela Kyrcová, deputy principal of Róbert's elementary school, told SME.
"One of our teachers then visited the mother at home. The woman brutally beat her son in front of the teacher. We immediately reported it [to the police]," said Kyrcová.
The divorced mother of Róbert and his 2-year-old baby brother, Erik, has been denied contact with the children, who now live with their father and grandmother.
According to SME, the recent case is not the first time that police have been interested in the family.
Last October, Erik fell from a window of their third floor flat. Miraculously, he survived the fall and suffered only minor injuries. A police investigation failed to find any incriminating evidence, so the case was closed and determined an accident.
One of the neighbours said to the daily that, since her divorce, Marcela S has failed to manage her life. She is unemployed and has financial problems.
The woman's former mother-in-law said to SME that her son divorced Marcela S because she had a drinking problem.
"Róbert was very afraid of his mother. Often, he would come here and stay all day, only going home in the evening," she said.
Police spokeswoman Jana Demjanovičová said that the investigator charged Marcela S with torturing her son. Police have also encouraged people to report similar cases that they notice in their neighbourhoods.


Čierny Balog
Musician arrested for loan sharking

CELEBRITY Roma musician Július "Šuko" Bartoš from the central Slovak village of Čierny Balog was put behind bars because police believe that the folk musician, 72, was involved in loan sharking.
A few days after Bartoš' arrest, police apprehended his son Peter under the same charges, based on a decision of the Banská Bystrica regional court.
According to the Slovak daily SME, about 10 members of the Bartoš family protested the arrests in front of the Banská Bystrica court.
Bartoš was arrested following a performance on March 19. According to the police, he is accused of gradually demanding a total of Sk67,000 (€1,670) for a borrowed Sk7,000 (€174).


Liptovský Mikuláš
Look, no hands

ARTUR Schwartz, 32, from Liptovský Mikuláš proved that he can solve crosswords without a pen in a test prepared by the Slovak daily Nový Čas.
In the test, Schwartz solved a crossword that included 215 expressions in a mere 20 minutes. "After 20 minutes of complete silence, he solved the puzzle without a single mistake," Nový Čas wrote on March 27.
Schwartz said that he learned the skill from a homeless man.
"About eight years ago I met a homeless man. He needed shoes, so I gave him a pair. Then he told me that while he was in jail he learned to solve crosswords [in his head]. I tried it and it worked out fine," Schwartz said.


Považská Bystrica
Pensioner hit from front and behind

A 76-YEAR-old woman died after being struck by a car in a parking lot in the western Slovak town of Považská Bystrica.
The state-run news agency TASR wrote that the accident took place on March 23.
While going in reverse, a 36-year-old driver unknowingly hit the woman.
She then fell under the car and the driver, now moving forward, ran over her again.
The pensioner was taken to a hospital but died as a result of her multiple injuries.


Senica
Officer arrested for not noticing Indians

POLICE in the western Slovak city of Senica accused customs officer Pavol V, 40, of neglecting his duties after he let a truck full of Indian refugees pass through the border.
The private SITA news agency reported that the case dates back to December 2001. While on duty, Pavol V failed to record a truck into the official registry and let it pass through the border, police spokeswoman Magda Krasulová told SITA.
He also failed to adequately check the truck, which, it turned out, was transporting 64 illegal migrants from India.



THE SPIRIT of the Dominican monastery might be lost forever.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák

Banská Štiavnica
A waste of history

A WASTE dump is burying the remains of a 13th century monastery in Banská Štiavnica that had already been partially destroyed to build a parking lot.
According to the Slovak daily SME, the whole area of the former Dominican monastery has been neglected, a problem that activists are trying to change by involving local inhabitants in a debate on how to save the historic site.
"We want inhabitants to take a stance towards this problem, so we started a discussion in our monthly magazine about the monastery and its surrounding paradise yard," Anton Pižurný, a member of the activist group Paradajz, said to SME.
According to local activists, archaeological research carried out at the end of the 20th century confirmed that the building dates back to the mid-13th century, which makes it one of the oldest structures in the city.
Currently, of the entire monastery, only part of its walls and the remains of windows facing the paradise yard have been preserved. Conservation of the remaining fragments of the once large building could still make the area a precious historical site.

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