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Prince Charles' royal hello to PETA bear!

A girl dressed up in a bear's costume caught the prince's eye on his way from the airport to Janpath on Thursday.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2006 20:08 IST

A girl dressed up in a bear's costume caught the eye of the prince while he was on his way from the airport to Janpath here Thursday - thanks to the efforts of animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Braving the heat and dressed as a bear, the PETA member had been tailing Prince Charles throughout his trip to India that ends Friday.

It was part of an international campaign to convince Queen Elizabeth and the British Ministry of Defence to stop using real bear pelts in the production of ceremonial caps used by 140 Queens' guards, a PETA statement said.

The PETA bear held a placard saying 'Save my skin'. Sure enough, Prince Charles spotted it and waved it a hello!

Prince Charles was on a two-day visit to Jaipur with his wife Camilla and the two were hosted as the personal guests of the erstwhile maharaja of Jaipur.

The 'bear' has become a regular feature at all Prince Charles' public engagements and has vowed to continue to appear at the engagements until he uses his influence to convince the Queen and the ministry to confine the use of bearskins to the dustbins of history.

On previous occasions, the prince has stated that the bear is indeed persistent.

It can take the hide of one bear to make just one guard's headpiece. PETA claims the skins come from bears shot in Canada, many of which are shot several times before they die, while some escape the hunters and bleed to death. When mother bears are killed, orphaned cubs, which cannot survive on their own, are left behind.

The PETA statement said after months of campaigning, PETA Europe reached the negotiating table with the British ministry of defence and is now working with several faux-fur manufacturers to find a suitable alternative to real bear skins.

First Published: Mar 31, 2006 17:51 IST