Sorry, Internet: Baby-Snatching Eagle Video Is Phony

But more than one source was duped
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 10:36 AM CST

If you were completely amazed by that video of a golden eagle snatching a baby in a Montreal park, you weren't alone. Unfortunately, you were also fooled. The vid is almost certainly fake, and Gawker has the details on how you can tell:

  • Red flag No 1: The video is YouTube user MrNuclearCat's only upload.

  • The CGI used to create the bird is flawed—its wings disappear at one point, its shadow is inconsistent, and when it drops its cargo, the baby somehow manages to float upward for a second.
  • Speaking of CGI, there's a 3D animation school in Montreal known for fake videos like this one, part of its "hoax the Internet" competition. Perhaps we've seen the new winner?
  • Not a single media source in Canada picked up on the footage.
  • Then there are the experts: Ornithologist Kenn Kaufman calls the video "stupid garbage." He explains that the 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."
But don't let that get you down if you breathlessly shared all over social media: The Huffington Post and Gawker itself were duped. (Read more hoax stories.)

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