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20th Dec 2012 12:46pm | By Dan Thorne
So it was all a big trick and we bought it hook line and sinker. Yesterday's popular video showing a golden eagle swooping in to snatch a Canadian baby was pure digital fakery.
Maybe because we thought it was too awesome and breath-taking to dismiss, but it's been confirmed to be a hoax created by Canadian digital animation students.
A renowned bird expert angrily dismissed the video as "ignorance" and "stupid garbage"
Gawker suggested the tell-tale signs of fakery were the eagle's wings and shadows disappearing in the blurry but relatively convincing video.
Students from the same school created a similar bird-brained hoax last year when they convinced thousands of YouTube viewers about an escaped penguin on the streets of Montreal - as pointed out by a user on the forums of Fark.com
And the college itself, the amusingly named Centre NAD, released a statement telling the world there was "no danger of being snatched by a royal eagle"
"Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards." they admitted in the statement.
American bird expert Kenn Kaufman took to Facebook to comment "'A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal,' and the video goes viral. But it's faked. Golden Eagle is a scarce visitor in the Montreal area, but the bird in the video is not a Golden Eagle, nor anything else that occurs in the wild in North America."
"This was clearly a setup: using a falconer's bird, and probably a fake toddler for the distant scene. With all the ignorance about nature that's out there already, the last thing we need is this kind of stupid garbage." he concluded.
Other wildlife experts reacted with a similar dismay at the video which has been condemned for giving eagles a bad reputation "Birds of prey do not need negative press, and it's not outside of the realm of possibility that people will harm birds of prey or be unnecessarily afraid of them as a result of watching this video in a misguided attempt to protect their children." said Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Well you've got to admit, this is a pretty well-made hoax...