Latvija in brief - 2012-04-26

  • 2012-04-25

Despite previous estimates, the organizers of Big Cleanup Day say that approximately 210,000 persons actually participated in the event this year, reports LETA. Thus, last year’s record has been broken by about 20,000 persons. Earlier estimates said that 190,000 persons participated in this year’s Big Cleanup Day. Each year, Big Cleanup Day attracts more and more participants. This years Day focused on water and its purification. The first cleanup took place on Sept. 13, 2008, and was residents’ gift to Latvia on the country’s 90th anniversary. That year, 50,000 persons participated in Big Cleanup Day throughout the country. The aim of Big Cleanup Day is to make Latvia the cleanest and most pleasant place in the world by 2018, when the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence.

The Riga Zoo’s Siberian tiger Vasja, who last year became the father of the zoo’s tiger cub Kilfs Grants, has died, reports LETA. Vasja, who was born at the Banham Zoo in England in October of 2008, arrived at the Riga Zoo in May of 2010. Riga Zoo spokesman Maris Lielkalns said Vasja recently underwent surgery on an infected tooth, but did not wake up after being given anesthetics. An autopsy was carried out after the surgery, and veterinarians discovered that Vasja had a heart condition. According to records, Vasja’s mother also had a similar heart condition. The Siberian tiger is an endangered species, with only about 500 left in the wild. Taking into account that there are so little Siberian tigers left in the wild, as well as in captivity in zoos around the world, zoos must be careful to avoid inbreeding of tigers, so that their offspring remain healthy. Vasja and the Riga Zoo’s female tiger Katrina gave birth to tiger cub Klifs Grants in July of last year.

Fifty-five percent of Latvia’s economically active residents aged 18 to 55 do not agree that Latvia should join the eurozone as soon as possible, according to a survey carried out by the TNS research agency in cooperation with the LNT television, reports Twenty-six percent strongly oppose the idea, whereas 29 percent tend to oppose this. Thirty percent of respondents said they supported the statement that Latvia should join the euro area as soon as possible, including 9 percent who said they definitely believed so, and 21 percent who tended to support the statement. Fifteen percent had no opinion. Altogether, 700 residents participated in the poll from April 17 to April 19 via the Internet. Latvia plans to join the eurozone in 2014.