Vatican Hires Hawk To Protect Pope Francis’ Doves Was April Fool’s Joke

A delayed reaction regarding a report in the Catholic weekly publication Credere (Believe) that the Vatican had hired and trained a hawk, to protect the doves Pope Francis lets go from his balcony during special days, made it to the internet this week.

The only problem is that the news was an April Fool’s joke, which didn’t really register on the first of the month and is just now being picked up by news agencies worldwide.

According to the report, the hawk who was named “Sylvia” was trained to go chase off ruthless seagulls and crows, such as those who went after Pope Francis’ two doves in January only to be brutally attacked in front of thousands of horrified onlookers.

Supposedly, “Sylvia, the hawk” had been taken in by the Swiss Guard and trained in northern Italy for the specific purpose of protecting the precious Vatican doves, which will be used by His Holiness for Easter.

However, a Vatican official told the AFP the report, due to be published in the weekly on Thursday and covered by some news agencies, was an “April Fool’s joke they picked up.”

The tradition of releasing doves from the Apostolic Palace’s balcony in St. Peter’s Square as a sign of peace, took a turn for the tragic when two young children appeared at the window and released the innocent white birds into the sky. A black crow came out of nowhere and started chasing one of the doves and was joined by a seagull later on.

It is unclear what happened in the end to the two doves that were so brutally attacked in January, while Pope Francis prayed for world peace at the Vatican, especially for the Ukraine, which was faced with internal violence at the time.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a hawk watching over the Vatican doves, however, we don’t know if it could lead to more problems for the peaceful creatures.

[Image via Shutterstock]