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Yesterday, the Prince of Wales, 72, stopped by the monarch’s Norfolk estate to honor a cause that he holds near and dear to his heart: animal protection. The royal was joined by Tony Juniper—chair of Natural England, an organization that aims to protect and restore the environment—along with a flock of Eurasian curlew (more on this later).
Prince Charles helped release the birds as part of a new initiative to boost wildlife populations. “I have always cherished the evocative call of the curlew, but it is now dangerously close to being something that our grandchildren will never have the chance to enjoy,” he said. “I am therefore particularly delighted that the Sandringham Estate has been able to assist in a small way the recovery of this wonderful bird.”
If you’re thinking, what are Eurasian curlew? You should know they’re Europe’s largest wading birds. They’re also red listed as a threatened species, making them a high priority for animal activists. According to Hello! magazine, the U.K. is “home to roughly a quarter of the global breeding population of curlew.” However, the numbers have been declining since the ’70s due to an increase in predators and severe habitat changes.
Prince Charles continued, “Every curlew nest is something to prize, nurture and protect, and it is utterly vital that we work together to turn this iconic bird’s fortunes around.”
The trip took place a few days after Queen Elizabeth departed Sandringham Estate and traveled to Balmoral Castle. Coincidence? We think not.
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