Millions of YouTube users were fooled today by a video which appeared to show a toddler being picked up by a golden eagle in a park in Montreal, Canada.
The video, posted on YouTube, sees an eagle swoop down and grab the small child, before carrying him by the hood of his winter coat for several seconds before dropping him back on the grass.
But after accumulating over 2 million plays online, a Canadian animation school claimed the video was the work of its students:
– Centre NAD, Montreal
The "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" video, uploaded to YouTube on the evening of December 18, was made by Normand Archambault, Looc Mireault, Antoine Seigle and Filix Marquis-Poulin, students at Centre NAD, in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design.
Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards.
The authenticity of the footage had earlier been questioned by CGI experts, who said the shadows cast by the bird, and the slow reaction of the adults, shows the footage could not be real.
Have a look for yourself:
The video starts with the eagle swirling above the park where the toddler is playing on the grass. The film is thought to be filmed in Montreal's Mount Royal park.
The eagle then swoops down suddenly and flies towards the toddler who was playing just a few paces away from an adult.
In a matter of seconds the eagle lifts the baby off the grass, and carries him by the hood with his talons.
After cursing in English, the French-speaking man filming the incident runs towards the child.
The reaction, or lack thereof, from the child, has made lots of internet users protest that the footage, though very convincing, could not possibly be real.
Cyatek, on YouTube said:
Very well done CGI i must say. But it's all it is, computer effects...
First, just look at the way the baby falls. Also he doesn't react to anything.