Golden eagle snatching Canadian boy video is hoax - clipmakers

Students and staff at Centre NAD were "surprised" when the video went viral

A video of a golden eagle snatching a child in Canada that has gone viral online was an elaborate hoax aimed at testing the skills of the clipmakers.

The video shows the bird briefly lifting the child in a Montreal park before dropping him unharmed.

Nearly 17 million people have watched the video on YouTube in three days.

But a digital training centre in Montreal later told the BBC that the clip was made by its students as part of a degree course.

Suzanne Guevremont, director of the Centre NAD, said the clip had been produced by four students who "had an idea of making something believable".

The students - who were doing a degree in 3D animation and digital design - had come up with the idea after a brainstorming session, completing the project in seven weeks, she said.

"It's a challenge... they wanted to test their skills," Ms Guevremont said.

She added that the bird and the child seen being snatched were all computer generated imagery (CGI), and the only real things in the video were the park, the boy (after being dropped on the ground) and his father comforting him.

The CGI was dropped into real footage to create the effect.

Some YouTube and Twitter users expressed doubts about the authenticity of the clip soon after it was posted online on 18 December.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?

  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?

  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?

  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit


  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.