Two white doves released as a peace gesture by kids standing alongside Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square on Sunday, were attacked within seconds by other birds.
A seagull and a large black crow swooped on the doves after they were set free from a window of the Apostolic Palace.
The seagull pinned one of the doves against the wall of the palace and pecked at its tail, but was left with a mouthful of feathers as its victim made an escape.
The crow caught the smaller bird unawares and pecking at it repeatedly. Again, the victim managed to get away. Eventually both doves flew off, seemingly uninjured, to the relief of tens of thousands of onlookers.
It’s not clear as to what happened to the doves as they flew off. Last year one of the doves was set upon by a gull, while in 2012 they simply flew back into the Apostolic Apartments.
Speaking at the window earlier, the Pope had appealed for peace in Ukraine, after at least three people were killed during the latest clashes in the two-month crisis.