Pope Francis spread his love to the animal kingdom on Thursday before a tiger cub wearily backed away from his hand.
The six-month-old tiger cub initially accepted a caress from the Pope before jumping back and giving him an unwelcoming stare.
Francis was invited by the cub’s tamers to pet the tiger as they distracted the animal by feeding it from a baby bottle. The Pope was at first hesitant, but decided to get up and accept the offer.
The Pope was startled after the animal leapt away from him, but he was later able to pet the cub smoothly before it jumped off to suck from the bottle.
Francis also welcomed a black panther cub into his arms as part of the jubilee held for hundreds of circus and traveling show people at the Vatican.