A top Vatican cleric presided over a ceremony in Rome’s zoo to bid farewell to a baby crocodile dubbed ‘The Pope’s Crocodile,’ the Daily Herald reports.

The reptile is being returned to its natural habitat in Cuba this month – a journey that will coincide with a visit to the island by Pope Benedict XVI set for March 26, according to the paper.

The initiative symbolizes “respect for nature and friendship between nations,” Vatican Substitute for General Affairs Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu said last week during the ceremony, which also was attended by Cuba’s ambassador to the Holy See, Eduardo Delgado.

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