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July 24, 2017

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Vatican hires big hawk to guard pope's doves: report

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has recruited an intrepid hawk to protect the pope's doves after two were killed in front of horrified crowds by a crow and seagull, a Catholic weekly reported.

The eagle-eyed bird of prey named "Sylvia," who was specially trained for the task in northern Italy, has been taken on by the Swiss Guards, according to a report in Credere.

They hope the Harris Hawk, which can grow to have a wingspan of 120 centimeters (47 inches), will scare off predators looking to make a quick meal of any holy doves.

The doves are traditionally released from the Vatican a few times a year as signs of peace.

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