Eagle-eyed viewers said it was probably fake, and now three animation students have confirmed that a video of a golden eagle swooping down and snatching a toddler off the ground was hatched by them.
The video purported to show the bird with a six-foot wing span circling a public park in Montreal, Canada.
The eagle then swoops down, lifts an unsuspecting toddler off the ground and carries it a few feet before dropping it on the grass.
After cursing in English, the French-speaking man filming the incident races over to comfort the bewildered child, who starts crying but does not appear to have been seriously hurt.
The footage, which was uploaded on Tuesday notched up more than 1.2m views.
However, questions about its authenticity soon emerged. Inconsistencies were pointed out in the way the bird’s shadow appeared on the ground. The movements of the child also raised queries.
Last night, Montreal college Centre NAD released a statement confirming that the footage was a clever fake.
“The ‘Golden Eagle Snatches Kid’ video, uploaded to YouTube on Dec 18, was made by Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault, and Félix Marquis-Poulin, students at Centre NAD, in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design,” it said.
The college said both the eagle and the child were created in 3D animation and integrated into the film afterwards.
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