Captured by sousliks: Do you know where in Slovakia they will eat from your hand?

They will be grateful for sunflower seeds.

(Source: TASR/Oliver Ondráš)
More information about travelling in Slovakia
Please see our Spectacular Slovakia travel guide.

There is a meadow in a locality called Biele Vody not far from Muráň Castle at the Muránska Planina National Park. The meadow is full of European ground squirrels so used to the people who come here to feed them that they will eat from their hands.

They like sunflower seeds, apples, carrots, biscuits as well as old dry bread.

Even though it is not allowed to feed animals in many places, here it is almost required. The European ground squirrels were brought to the meadow in 2000 from Košice airport. They were doing well until 2003 when the local dairy closed and the cows stopped grazing on the meadow, informs the website of the national park.

Read also:Gemer express offers visitation of beauties in the region Read more 

Feeding helps mating

The situation had been worsening and finding a European ground squirrel in the meadow was becoming harder and harder. The Živá Planina civic association decided to change the situation and since 2011 donkeys have been grazing here and the supplemental feeding of ground squirrels began in the same year. The website informs that only 12 squirrels lived in the meadow in 2011.

The purposeful feeding helped. The European ground squirrel needs to get back in good condition after winter hibernation. They are starving, so they need to eat first and then they can mate and have their young. If the spring is cold and rainy, they do not have enough time for eating, the females are weak and do not have any young at all.

The population today exceeds a thousand squirrels. It has also lured predators, for which the squirrels are regular food. The meadow is a popular location for both adults and children.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Kuciak’s boss: I'm 100 percent sure Kočner ordered the murder

Kuciak was not doing it for money but for a higher principle, said editor-in-chief of

Ján Kuciak's colleagues

National court drama intensifies as polls raise alarm

The first week of the Kuciak murder trial saw key witnesses take the stand while polls do not rule out a far-right victory in February.

Peter Toth

Haščák said the message he got from Kočner was not about Kuciak

Two people have already been punished in the murder case.

Penta financial group partner Jaroslav Haščák was called forward to the court because of a message Kočner had sent to him prior to the Kuciak murder

President Čaputová: The path of hatred leads to tragedies and crimes

The president and the prime minister commemorated the inhabitants of Ostrý Grúň and Kľak killed during WWII.

The commemorative event in the village of Kľak.