Baby-snatching eagle video called fake after going viral
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.