Kidnapper from the skies: The terrifying moment a golden eagle ‘swooped down and snatched up a toddler’ as he played in park
A massive golden eagle circles a park before swooping down and appearing to grab a toddler with its claws and trying to fly off with him in an incredible video posted on YouTube.
The clip shows the child’s parent looking on in horror as the feathered beast, one of the world’s deadliest birds of prey, apparently snatches the boy and lifts him a few feet off the ground.
Footage then shows the eagle dropping the child, whose name and age are unknown, on the grass a few feet away. However, YouTube posters have suggested the video is an elaborate hoax with several claiming to have proved it’s a fake.
The eagle – with a roughly six-foot wing span – was videoed apparently snatching the toddler and lifting it a few feet off the ground
Video of the apparent incident starts with footage of the eagle – with a roughly six-foot wing span – flying over a public park in Montreal, Canada.
But when the eagle swoops down the French-speaking man filming the incident zooms in.
After swearing in English, he races over to comfort the bewildered child, who starts crying but does not appear to have been seriously hurt.
‘A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal! What if he got away with it!?’ reads a caption under the video, posted by MrNuclearCat.
The video had just 311 views early Wednesday but was making the rounds on Twitter.
‘Destined to be huge!’ one user wrote. ‘Craziest video I’ve seen in a long time,’ tweeted another.
However, many YouTube posters claimed it was a CGI hoax. One user Cyatek broke the video down and claimed special effects were used to fake it and there is lack of shadow in some frames.
The golden eagle is the largest bird of prey in North America, and can dive at its quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles per hour, according to the U.S. National Geographic Society.
If the video is real, the eagle probably mistook the toddler for a rabbit, marmot or ground squirrel, its normal prey.