It might at first glance look like one of the most startling moments of man versus nature ever caught on camera. It is, in fact, a hoax.
Suddenly the bird swoops down and seizes a child who is sitting contentedly on the grass. The eagle takes to the air but after a moment the todder falls from its talons. The minute-long film ends with the weeping child being consoled by a parent.
Within hours the video, titled "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid", had garnered more than a million views on YouTube but soon armchair critics and experts alike began to express scepticism over the remarkable footage.
Now students at the Montreal-based Centre NAD have admitted they created the hoax viral video.
“Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated into the film afterwards,' the college write in a school wrote, admitting that students Normand Archambault, Loic Mireault and Felix Marquis-Poulin were behind the footage.
Critics had seized on a moment right before the eagle gathers the child in its talons, when its shadow appears to disappear, and the strangely floating way that toddler falls after being released.
Others pointed to the fact that sunny day in the film did not match Montreal's recent weather, protesting that there was no way a person could resist immediately posting the footage to the internet.
Finally there is the issue of the bird itself - according to Kenn Kaufman, a wildlife expert, golden eagles are rarely seen in Montreal and the bird in the video appears to be some kind of falcon.
By Raf Sanchez Telegraph.co.uk