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Eagle snatching toddler video is a hoax

Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:04 PM

MONTREAL, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A video seeming to show a golden eagle grabbing a small child in its talons in Montreal is actually the work of animation school students, the school said.

The clip, titled "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid," depicts the bird grabbing the child in front of his mother and carrying the toddler a few feet into the air before dropping him, The Independent reported Wednesday. The child is then seen crying, but does not appear to be seriously hurt.

The video had been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube as of Wednesday evening.

The National Animation and Design Center -- Centre NAD -- posted a message on its website Wednesday saying the video was made by Normand Archambault, Loic Mireault and Felix Marquis-Poulin, students in a production simulation workshop class that "aims to produce creative projects according to industry production and quality standards while developing team work skills."

"Hoaxes produced in this class have already garnered attention, amongst others a video of a penguin having escaped the Montreal Biodome," the school said.

Alex Hearn, a blogger for the New Statesman, said there was evidence in the video to suggest it was a fake.

"When the bird swoops down, its shadow pops in one frame after it does. And for one frame, and one frame only, around three seconds in, its right wing becomes transparent," he wrote. "Then there is the slightly odd motion of the child after the eagle lets go of it. Not only does it carry on going up -- which would just be momentum -- but its ascent actually speeds up a bit before falling."

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