UK's Prince Harry quizzed about shooting of rare birds

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London, Oct 31 (UNI) Police investigating the killing of two rare and legally protected birds on the UK's royal family's Sandringham estate in Norfolk last week have questioned Queen Elizabeth's grandson Prince Harry, royal officials said today.

The prince is believed to have been out shooting last Wednesday evening, with a friend when witnesses saw two hen harriers in flight being shot.

''Because Prince Harry and a friend were both in the area at the time, the police have been in contact with them, and asked them if they have any information that could help. Unfortunately, they've no knowledge of the alleged incident,'' The Guardian newspaper quoted spokeswoman for Clarence House as saying.

The killing was witnessed by a staff member of Natural England, the government's conservation agency which runs the nature reserve, and two members of the public.

They were identified to Norfolk police by the Prince of Wales's staff. Both of them have been interviewed in person, but have denied involvement in the incident.

The deaths have alarmed conservationists. Although widespread in other parts of the UK, hen harriers are rare in England with about 20 breeding pairs only.

Hen Harriers have been put on the red list and their killing is an offence under wildlife protection legislation carries a prison sentence of up to six months or a 5,000 pound fine.


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