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Around Slovakia

Man survives two days in forest
Building collapses, killing driver
University to train African students
Pet hospital opened
Thieves cause water outage
Lawyer and his wife attacked
4,500 litres of home-made hooch discovered

Veľká Fatra
Man survives two days in forest

FEDOR Beťko found himself lost in the Veľká Fatra mountains on the icy evening of February 12. He was reported missing and presumed dead but returned home two days later.
He spent two days and nights lost in the forest. Luckily, he found a wooden shelter to spend the nights.
He was exhausted, cold, and hungry but there was no food and he had no matches to light a fire.
On the third day he managed to make his way through the woods till he came across a game warden's house in the Ľubochnianska valley.
Beťko, 50, recalled that a pack of wolves followed him during his attempts to get out of the woods, according to the daily Nový Čas.
Beťko set off for a hike in the Veľká Fatra with 27 other people. But he became separated from the others and could not find his way back to them.
A ground and helicopter search was launched.
Beťko now feels lucky to be alive.
"The wind was strong and it was snowing heavily," Beťko said.
Although he is a keen and experienced hiker and knows the forest well, Beťko said he became disoriented once he found himself alone.
"I gradually got to the area called Čierny kameň [Black Stone]. It was dark already and I realized that I had to find somewhere to stay and wait through the night. Luckily, I spotted a shelter close to where I was, and so I spent the night sitting on the bench," he said.
When he woke up he went on although not knowing in what direction he was heading. But his feet were very cold and he slipped because when he started the hike with his friends, he only had his cross-country skiing shoes on.
During his wanderings he spotted a pack of five wolves.
"I was terribly scared, it was absolutely horrible. I saw something creeping up at me. Only a while later did I realize that I had two wolves on one side and three on the other," he said.
He then thought that he had better go back to the shelter where he had spent the previous night.
Before he fell asleep he left three of his business cards near the shelter in case the wolves attacked him during the night.
The next day, Monday February 14, he set out again and arrived at the Ľubochnianska valley.
"You can't imagine how happy I felt when I saw the house," he said. The game warden then called Beťko's brother.
"I was very scared for my brother. When they called me that he was alive, my heart jumped for joy," Ľudovít Beťko, 51, told Nový Čas.
Fedor Beťko's wife Lýdia, 49, said she could not sleep the two nights her husband was missing.
"On Monday morning I almost lost hope. But in the corner of my heart I still trusted that my husband would survive. I know he never gives up," she said.
Beťko went through a series of tests after he got back home, which turned out well. He says he never wants to go through a similar experience again and he will always stay with his group during hikes.
"I never want to go through a similar hell," he said.


Sučany
Building collapses, killing driver

A MAN who was driving his car around a dilapidated former brick factory on February 15 was killed when the building collapsed.
The tragedy probably happened as a result of heavy snow.
First a wall fell down, then the whole building.
When the rescue services arrived on the scene, the man was already dead.


Trenčín
University to train African students

WITHIN a few years up to 200 students from Burkina Faso in West Africa could start studying at the Trenčín based Alexander Dubček University, according to the daily SME.
University Rector Juraj Wagner said that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with the country's ambassador, Beatrice Damiba.
Damiba said Burkina Faso was a developing country that was particularly interested in agricultural training for its young people.
"We want to enable our young students to visit the best fields at your university," the ambassador said.
The ambassador also wants to contact the Slovak Agricultural University in Nitra.
Rector Wagner thinks that the first group of eight to ten Burkina students could start their studies next year.
"But they would have to come to Slovakia as soon as possible, so that they can learn the basics of the Slovak language," he said.


Košice
Pet hospital opened

A NEW hospital for pets was opened in the eastern city of Košice, the Nový Čas daily reported.
The Cassovet hospital provides healthcare for the pets, and more. There is even a beauty salon for those animals in need of a makeover.
Vet František Huba said the hospital had 2,500 clients. "Most of them are dogs and cats. Occasionally people with more exotic pets, such as snakes, also come here," he said.


Čerhov
Thieves cause water outage

A TOTAL of 830 inhabitants in the southeastern Slovak village of Čerhov were left without drinking water after unknown thieves stole and damaged parts of the local water pipe system, the daily SME reported.
The caps and seals on the water pipes were broken, causing floods in some basements.
Problems were also reported from villages close to Čerhov that are connected to the same water pipe system.
Repairs took several days during which local schools were closed.


Banská Bystrica
Lawyer and his wife attacked

POLICE are searching for two people who attacked a lawyer and his wife late in the evening of February 15.
According to the SME daily, masked attackers attacked the 56-year-old lawyer and his wife in their house at 23:00.
The attackers were armed with guns and a baseball bat. The lawyer suffered injuries that will take more than a month to heal.
His wife suffered lighter injuries.
The attack is being investigated and the attackers, if caught, could face up to 12 years behind bars.
The motive for the attack is unknown.


Bratislava
4,500 litres of home-made hooch discovered

CUSTOMS officers from Bratislava discovered a store of more than 4,500 litres of illegally made hard alcohol, the TASR news agency reported.
The hooch was discovered in a farm building in the Bratislava district of Vajnory.
Police suspect that taxes of more than Sk500,000 (€13,100) have been evaded.
The farmers told police that the spirits were not for sale but were supposed to be "served to the members of the farm", spokeswoman for Slovak Customs, Silvia Balázsiková, told TV Markíza.
The police are continuing their investigations.

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