Around Slovakia

DIN, the four-metre-high dinosaur, stretches his neck on the lookout for his friends to join him in a park near Levice.
photo: TASR

Jur nad Hronom
Dinosaur appears in park

A FOUR-METRE-HIGH statue of a dinosaur, called Din, has become a big attraction in the village of Jur nad Hronom in the district of Levice in southern Slovakia, the TASR news agency reported on May 11.
The dinosaur statue is in a park in the village which locals have now christened Jurassic Park. The municipality has been given a grant from the European Union of €48,000 (Sk1.9 million) to make the area more attractive to tourists.
Din the dinosaur is made of iron, concrete and stone and was created by sculptor Adam Kamenský. The park has acted as an open-air venue for sporting and cultural events in the village for more than 50 years.
Mayor Helena Valentová said that municipal leaders have decided to improve the quality of the public area to try and attract more tourists.
The mayor told the TASR news agency that she was convinced Din was not going to remain the only statue in the park. She plans to approach art students to contribute their creativity to the park's development.

Wall collapses on top of pensioner

IN EARLY May a wall collapsed on top of 75-year-old Pavol Šimov from the village of Brusník near Veľký Krtíš.
According to the SME daily, Šimov was buried under the heavy stones of the wall, which was almost one metre thick. Some of the stones weighed as much as 20 kilogrammes.
"The building is owned by a neighbour and we built our summer kitchen up against it from our side of the building. I had just finished eating when I heard a strong crack and then all I can remember seeing is the wall suddenly falling on top of me," said Šimov.
He was sitting on a chair when the collapsing wall pummelled him. He was virtually buried by the stones.
"I shouted for my wife and she was more scared than I was," he said.
On hearing his screams the neighbours also rushed inside. It took them almost half an hour to free Šimov from the heavy stones.
"I have bruises all over my body. I don't understand how nothing more serious happened to me. I did not even suffer any fractures or concussion," he told SME.
Šimov is convinced that special wooden roof beams saved him from worse injuries. The frames were holding the roof of the summer kitchen together and prevented it from falling on Šimov as well.
"If this had happened just half an hour earlier, it would have been very bad. We have a stove right under the wall and my wife was there in the morning. Nothing would have saved her there," he said.
"When the ambulance brought me to the hospital in Veľký Krtíš the doctors could not believe that I had come through such an event with so few injuries. I did not even have to be hospitalized," he said.
Police are looking into the case.

Zlatá Idka
Water turns orange in pipes

ORANGE water is flowing out of the sewerage system in the eastern Slovak village of Zlatá Idka, near Košice.
According to the Pravda daily, the water does not look safe to drink despite the hygiene authorities finding no sign of any dangerous substances at all.
"The water is treated but it is orange because of the sediments in the pipes and so we only have utility water instead of drinking water," said mayor Dana Jacková.
The 30-year-old sewerage system is obviously in need of renewal.
Local people have been forced to trek out to the local forest wells to get their drinking water.
The water management authorities are aware of the problem in the former mining village but say that they have no money to replace the water pipes.

ĽUDMILA Martinusiková sits under her banana tree waiting for it to bear fruit.
photo: Žilinské noviny - Monika Klincová

Woman grows bananas in Slovakia

ĽUDMILA Martinusiková from the northern Slovak village of Terchová has grown a big banana tree and is hoping that it will bear fruit.
According to the Žilinské noviny weekly, the 41-year-old amateur planter has grown a 1.6 metre tall banana tree. It is three years old and its leaves are more than one metre long.
This is the second banana tree that Martinusiková has grown to such a size. She fears that this one may suffer the same fate as the first. It died after its initial bloom.
"When the banana tree loses its bloom it slowly perishes. But I don't want to speak too soon. Maybe this time, its little green bananas will grow into pretty yellow ones," she told the weekly.

Man faces jail for damaging nature

A MAN who wanted to help the environment actually damaged it because of his over-enthusiasm. In April 2004 the man started clearing and deepening a dead tributary of the Nitra River, which lies on land he owns.
But instead of helping nature, police charged him with breaching the law on the protection of plants and animals, the SITA news agency wrote.
The 41-year-old man from the southern Slovak village of Imeľ, in the district of Komárno, had 54 trees cut down.
Police spokesman Miloš Fábry said that the man had also destroyed fish eggs, the eggs of various amphibians and tadpoles, as well as birds' nests.
The man damaged the vegetation growing in the still water such as cane, and various other plants that grow in still water.
He carried out the entire clearing operation before the authorities had given the go-ahead for his plan. Experts evaluated the damage caused by the man at Sk3.5 million (€90,200). Fábry said that the man was facing two to eight years in jail.

Horror story staged at castle

FEAR and trembling ruled at the 12th annual international Festival of Spirits and Ghosts that took place at Bojnice castle from May 6 to May 8.
This year's festival carried the subtitle, The Horror Legend. More than a 100 characters featured in a staged horror story that visitors were able to watch at the castle.
The play told the story of the 15th century Noffry family. In darkened rooms, courtyards and the chapel, the cast acted out the piece, the daily SME wrote.
The story involved the audience and some visitors even faced the threat of being taken off to face execution or locked up in jail.

Wolves attack dozens of sheep in daylight

WOLVES attacked a sheep farm in the hills above the village of Svetlice in Eastern Slovakia in broad daylight and killed 70 sheep, the SME daily reported.
Shepherd Milan Baršay said that on May 11, shortly before noon, a pack of eight to 10 wolves showed up at the fence of the sheep farm.
Of the original 180 animals only 40 were left after the attack. The rest of the sheep ran off towards the forest to hide from the wolves.
The shepherd said that he and his helpers went off to round them up but found most of them dead or wounded.
Some of the sheep died by falling into a nearby gorge as they tried to run away from the wolves.

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