Just after Pope Francis and two children released a pair of doves into the air above St. Peter's Square in Rome on Monday, a seagull and a crow swooped in and attacked the smaller birds.

The freeing of the doves was meant as a gesture of peace, but apparently that message did not matter to the much larger, stronger birds who ruined the symbolic ceremony. One of the doves managed to escape the seagull's grasp (only after losing a few feathers first), but it's unclear what happened to the other, which had been repeatedly pecked by the big crow.

Pope Francis had just spoken about the ongoing situation in Ukraine, where protestors and the government have been engaging in violent clashes in the streets of Kiev. "I am close in my prayers to Ukraine," he said, "in particular to those who have lost their lives, and their families."

It remains unclear what ultimately became of the doves.

Pope Francis and two children release peace doves
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Below is some footage of the release ceremony, along with several still shots of the crow and seagull attacking the doves:


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