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Prince Harry quizzed on dead birds

  • Story Highlights
  • Police question Prince Harry after two rare birds were killed on the royal estate
  • British newspapers said witnesses saw two hen harriers being shot
  • Hen harriers are some of the most at-risk birds in the United Kingdom
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Police questioned Prince Harry after two rare and legally protected birds were killed on the royal family's estate last week, the prince's press office said Wednesday.

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Clarence House said Prince Harry told police he had no knowledge of the incident.

British newspapers reported Wednesday that Prince Harry and a friend were shooting on the royal family's Sandringham estate in Norfolk last week when witnesses saw two hen harriers being shot.

The Times quoted sources saying the prince and his friend were the only two people known to be shooting on the estate when the birds were killed.

A spokeswoman for Clarence House confirmed Harry and his friend were in the area at the time and that police had been in contact with them. She said police asked them if they had any information about the alleged incident, but she said the prince and his friend replied they had no knowledge of it.

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said only that inquiries were continuing in regards to the incident and the investigation was ongoing.

Hen harriers are some of the most at-risk birds in the United Kingdom with fewer than 20 breeding pairs in England, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

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"If two birds have just been shot, that's really bad news," said Gemma Rogers, a spokeswoman for the RSPB, which includes the birds on its "red list" of most-threatened species.

Prince Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, is patron of the RSPB. His father, Prince Charles, is an active conservationist and patron of several wildlife charities. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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