It’s the incredible video that’s been viewed almost 7.5 million times in less than two days, with many speculating it was just too unbelievable to be true.
In ‘Golden Eagle Snatches kid’, a supposed Golden Eagle is seen soaring high above a park in Montreal, Canada.
In a matter of seconds, the eagle swoops low to the ground, snatching a toddler from behind and trying to fly away with the child. At a height of several feet off the ground, the eagle decides its prey is too heavy, dropping the child to the ground as nearby adults and the cameraman himself rush to the crying child’s aid.
It turns out the skeptics were right: as another YouTube video posted by user ‘Cyatek' reveals, the video seems to be the result of some clever computer wizardry.
Slowing down the video frame by frame, inconsistent shadows cast by the eagle are visible. After being dropped, the toddler also seems to hang in the air momentarily before falling back to earth.
Animal experts have also weighed in, pointing out that the bird featured in the video is not a Golden Eagle and does not in fact live in the wild anywhere in North America.
Many pointed to the fact that a 3D animation school in Montreal hosts an annual ‘hoax the internet’ competition. Montreal’s NAD Centre have now owned up, issuing a statement that explains the video "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."