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Published on Dec 19, 2012
Golden Eagle Snatches Kid Video is Fake!Golden Eagle Snatches Kid Footage is Fake!
A viral video that appears to show an eagle snatching a baby in a Montreal park is being questioned for its authenticity, with many in the online community calling it a hoax.
The video -- Golden Eagle Snatches Kid in Montreal -- seems to show exactly that. A large bird appears to swoop down from the sky above Mont Royal Park and pick up the baby in its talons. The bird travels several metres before dropping the child, which appears to be toddler age, and flying away.
The camera then zooms in on the child, who is crying but seems to be uninjured.
David Bird, a McGill University professor of wildlife biology, doubts the video's authenticity. He said the bird looks more like an osprey than a golden eagle.
"Bald eagles and golden eagles both have fairly broad wings. That bird there has long narrow wings," he said.
Bird said he has never heard of an eagle grabbing a child.
"The public has nothing to fear from bald eagles in that regard of picking up their babies, and for that matter, even their pets."
Montreal police have not received any reports of large birds attacking small children.
Several people in online communities are saying the video is a hoax and possibly uses computer-generated images.
The video was even picked up by popular entertainment website Gawker, which listed reasons it was a fake, including "news of this harrowing incident is nowhere to be found in Canadian media. Seems like a story someone would cover."
This is the second time in the past few days the public was fooled by a Montreal-based hoax.
Last week, CBC's satirical radio show This is That tricked Canadians with a fictitious story about a proposed bylaw requiring dogs to be trained to understand commands in French and English.
When that video of a Golden Eagle snatching a baby from the ground (yes, that video of a Golden Eagle snatching a baby from the ground) hit the web last night, everyone immediately accepted its veracity.
Even on typically far-from-credulous Internet forums there was nary a "fake" and/or "gay" to be found.
Several hours later, those forums finally found their bearings, rolled up their sleeves, and got down to the task of debunking the latest viral tomfoolery before it had a chance to truly take off.
So here's what they have so far:
* Right off the bat, this is the uploader's only video. That's usually a pretty big tell.
* Secondly, news of this harrowing incident is nowhere to be found in Canadian media. Seems like a story someone would cover.
* Third, enhanced versions of the video as well as individual stills appear to reveal several flaws in the creator's CGI: The eagle's wing disappears for a brief moment while in flight; the bird's shadow disappears and reappears at various times; the baby appears to be moving upwards after being dropped by the eagle; and the baby's ragdoll-like fall suggests the physics are computer-made.
* Perhaps most convincing, however, is this comment made by renowned bird expert Kenn Kaufman:
'A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal,' and the video goes viral. But it's faked. Golden Eagle is a scarce visitor in the Montreal area, but the bird in the video is not a Golden Eagle, nor anything else that occurs in the wild in North America. This was clearly a setup: using a falconer's bird, and probably a fake toddler for the distant scene. With all the ignorance about nature that's out there already, the last thing we need is this kind of stupid garbage.
As for the source of this highly convincing fake, the Internet jury is still out on that. But one Farker pointed to the existence of 3D animation school in Montreal that holds an annual "hoax the Internet" exam.
Here's an example of their past work.
UPDATE: As first posited above, the "Golden Eagle Snatched Kid" video was in fact the work of students at the Montreal-based animation and design school Centre NAD:
The "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" video, uploaded to YouTube on the evening of December 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.
Congrats kids — next year's class will be hard-pressed to beat your "hoax the Internet" success.
The “Golden Eagle Snatches Kid” video, uploaded to YouTube on the evening of December 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.
The video shows a royal eagle snatching a young kid while he plays under the watch of his dad. The eagle then drops the kid a few feet away. Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards.