Harry, Pal Eyed in Shooting of Rare Birds

Protected hen harriers killed on royal estate
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2007 10:54 AM CDT
Britain's Prince Harry reacts after the Rugby World Cup semifinal between England and France, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007 at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, outside Paris. Police questioned Prince...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Prince Harry and a pal were grilled by police after two rare birds of prey were killed last week on an estate belonging to the British royal family. The prince was out shooting when witnesses saw two hen harriers hit, a crime punishable by six months in prison or a £5,000 fine. Harry and his friend denied any involvement.

There are estimated to be only about 20 breeding pairs of hen harriers in England, the Guardian reports. "We take any allegations of killing of hen harriers very seriously," says a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The species is one of only two birds of prey on Britain's most endangered "red list."