Tags: golden | eagle | video | hoax

Viral Video of Golden Eagle Snatching Child a Hoax?

By Dale Eisinger   |   Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 10:21 AM

Add this one to Friday's impending Mayan apocalypse, climate change, global terrorism, and the many other dangers confronting our world: vicious, man-eating golden eagles.

A video posted to web forum Reddit shows a golden eagle circling an idyllic park in Montreal, Canada. What starts as an innocuous nature clip ends in terror, as the golden eagle eyes its prey more and more maliciously, then swoops in and grabs a child.

But, according to many Reddit users and Gawker writer Neetzan Zimmerman, the video that went viral appears to be a hoax.

From afar, the cameraman captures the giant eagle swooping down into the park and, with obvious intent, lifting the toddler — who is clad in winter gear — off the ground for a few feet. The child’s father simply yells, "Hey, hey!" at the raptor and the bird gives up on its prey.

The child starts crying, after the cameraman, otherwise speaking French, offers an English expletive. The cameraman runs over to the child and offers a conciliatory "oh no!" before cutting the video again with a slow-motioned shot of the eagle’s attempted liftoff, no less soundtrack to "Champions of Fire."

“If that kid wasn't wearing a thick coat, this would have been a very different video,” Reddit user kj_lamp wrote.

“He would have a hard time explaining that one to his wife,” writes another Reddit user, Tripelt.

Zimmerman notes the physics of the child’s drop appear to be too rigid.

Golden eagles can exert pressure of 440 pounds per square inch with their talons, and the larger birds of the species can reach an estimate 750 psi — 15 times the strength of the human hand and definitely enough pressure to make a toddler cry. Golden eagles are also known to carry prey equaling or heavier than their own weight.

“At this point I'm pretty sure that eagle only let go because he was startled by the father,” Reddit user yacbln wrote.

Or perhaps because golden eagles rarely visit the Montreal area?

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A video posted to web forum Reddit that shows a golden eagle circling an idyllic park in Montreal, Canada, then swooping in and grabbing a child appears to be a hoax, according to many Reddit users and Gawker writer Neetzan Zimmerman. That didn't keep it from going viral.

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