MELBOURNE, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A video purporting to show a hawk throwing snake at a picnicking family in Australia is making viral waves and courting questions about its authenticity.
The video, posted to YouTube by user Douglas Wong, appears to show a hawk pick up a large snake in a Melbourne park before dropping the serpent in the midst of a family enjoying a barbecue.
The bird then flies away and the snake slithers off as the panicking family scatters.
"Bird dropped snake on my uncle last weekend. Scary!" the uploader, who has only a single video on the site, wrote in the description.
The clip quickly went viral and immediately caused critics to question its authenticity.
Wong, who identifies himself as a 22-year-old student at RMIT University in Melbourne, insists the video depicts true events that took place during his uncle's recent visit to Australia from China.
Some viewers of the video say they are not convinced.
"The professional consensus seems to be that, no, it's not real," Emma Goldstone of Melbourne creative agency Jumbla told The Age. "The snake is massive in the last shot, but when the bird supposedly picks it up, you can't even see it. The camera work is too good. Why would a snake be hanging out in short grass in winter?"
Critics also said an analysis of the video appears to show a "layer" created during the editing process.
Some suggested the video could be the work of The Woolshed Company, a Melbourne-based video production company responsible for a number of viral hoaxes during the past year.
Experts with the Australian Reptile Park suggested the video could be real, as the snake's motion appears realistic in the hawk's talons. They said the hawk may have dropped the snake if it was bitten by the reptile.