The video, posted Tuesday, shows a golden eagle picking up a child. After video experts dubbed it fake, a Canadian film school fessed up.
(Image source: MrNuclearCat / YouTube ) BY STEVEN SPARKMAN ANCHOR JAMAL ANDRESS An Internet mystery has been solved, just one day after it began. This video supposedly shows a golden eagle swooping down and grabbing a toddler in a park in Montreal. The eagle quickly drops the baby, who is shaken up but otherwise OK. So the big question: is the eagle attack real or fake? The video made the rounds on U.S. morning shows Wednesday, where the skeptics were generally drowned out by believers. “Some people are questioning it, but when you look at it, it looks like the eagle came down.” ( Video via CBS News ) “Well, a lot of people are dissecting this frame by frame. One thing is...” “But it’s shot so amateurly.” ( Video via NBC ) “The eagle is a little far away from her, like two feet, and she’s looking down here, she doesn’t feel the eagle near her?” “Well how many times have you done that? You looked away for one hot second and an eagle took your kid?” ( Video via ABC ) But it’s been long enough for the experts to weigh in. So what’s the verdict? Turns out it’s a total fake. “If you think it’s unbelievable, you’re pretty smart because the video is a fake.” ( CBC News ) CGI experts quickly shredded the video, pointing out the eagle’s wings disappear for a frame, its shadow disappears several times, and the baby appears to keep going upward well after it’s been dropped. Plus there’s the fact that the bird isn’t actually a golden eagle or any other bird that lives in Canada. Wednesday, a Montreal animation school admitted several of its students had made the video for a class, and that their students are encouraged to push the limits of realism. So the hoax was all just a bit of harmless fun, right? Well, at least one nature writer doesn’t think so. Kenn Kaufman , the author of several field guides, says most people who saw the video will never hear that it was faked. “Vast numbers of people … will come away with the lingering impression that eagles sometimes carry away babies, that nature is dangerous. … they will be forever rendered a little more suspicious and fearful of the natural world.” But Popular Science took the opportunity to give its readers more information about nature, showcasing New Zealand’s now-extinct Haast eagle, which really could have carried away the toddler. The Canadian school says its students have put out other hoax videos, including one of a penguin escaping a Montreal zoo, but none this high-profile.