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Last Updated: Wednesday April 27 2005 18:23 GMT

Celebrities back albatross appeal

An albatross
Famous people like Dame Ellen MacArthur have "adopted" an albatross for a special event to raise awareness about the dangers the birds face.

Seventeen Tasmanian Shy albatrosses will be taking part in a 'Big Bird Race', where they'll travel from Tasmania to South Africa.

It's thought 100,000 albatrosses are killed each year because they're caught in hooks from fishing boats.

Money raised from bets on the race will go to charity BirdLife International.

Prince Charles visited an albatross reserve in New Zealand
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds also has a Save the Albatross campaign. Prince Charles is giving a speech on Wednesday night supporting both BirdLife International and the RSPB's schemes to save the bird.

In 2004, this event raised more than 200,000 to help protect seabirds.

Other celebrities backing this campaign include comedian Johnny Vegas and TV presenter Michael Parkinson.



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