A YouTube video that appears to show a golden eagle snatching up a toddler in Montreal's Mont Royal park is an elaborate fake made by students of a 3D animation program, according to a press release from the school.
"No danger of being snatched by a royal eagle," reads the release headline from Centre NAD in Montreal.
Online media was abuzz about the video, which shows an eagle circling the park and then swooping down to pick up the child. The eagle drops the bundled child and someone says to the camera person in French, "Did you see that?"
It has been viewed more than a million times.
"Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated into the film afterwards," the NAD release says.
Students Norma Archambault, Loïc Mireault, and Félix Marquis-Poulin produced the video for a workshop.
A YouTube user made a scene-by-scene breakdown of the video claiming it was fake before the school admitted to the prank.
The breakdown notes that the baby seems to continue rising into the air for a moment before falling like a rag-doll. A real child probably wouldn't have fallen quite so stiffly.
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In the analysis, the eagle's shadow also appears a frame after the eagle itself, suggesting the videographer inserted it.
Others pointed out that the eagle's wing becomes transparent at one point. There's also the small fact that the bird in the video isn't even a Golden Eagle, or any bird that lives in North America, according to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.
Despite its shortcomings, the students tricked the Internet for a short while and it's probably safe to say they passed the workshop.