- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

After a crow and seagull killed two of the pope’s peace doves in front of horrified onlookers, the Vatican has decided to enlist a hawk named “Sylvia” to keep a watchful eye over the holy birds.

The Harris Hawk, with a wingspan of 47 inches, was specially trained for the task in northern Italy, the Agence France-Presse reported.

The Vatican hopes it will scare off predators looking to make a meal out of the pope’s doves.

The doves are traditionally released from the Vatican a few times a year as signs of peace. In January, two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis were attacked and killed right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace in St. Peter’s Square during the pope’s Angelus prayer.

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