Real or Fake? Baby-Snatching Eagle Video Sparks Debate

Perhaps the baby was oinking smugly.

That’s one explanation as to why a real-life angry bird — a golden eagle — apparently swooped at a hapless baby as if launched from a slingshot. Watch:

A more plausible explanation, however, could be that the attempted avian abduction never actually happened.

In the 24 hours since the video became a viral hit — sparking the unanimous rallying cry of a generation, “OMG!” — a fair amount of evidence has emerged that the video is likely a hoax.

The topic is the focus of heated discussion on Reddit, where users continue to provide “evidence” that the video is a hoax. While some of the so-called evidence is far from slam-dunk quality (something doesn’t “feel right” about the footage, and the French-Canadian accents don’t sound totally authentic), some indeed seems to point toward a hoax.

Some of the pro-hoax arguments:

1. Golden eagles can’t carry more than 10 pounds, and the baby certainly weighed more than that. But to be fair, the eagle doesn’t get far with the baby, dropping it after only a couple of feet. Does that qualify as “flight” or the result of the inertia of the swooping bird? Also, there’s plenty of real evidence that golden eagles can hoist animals much heavier than 10 pounds. Check out this awesome footage of golden eagles dropping goats off a cliff.

2. The bird’s shadow is missing from several frames of footage. This seems to be more damning. Check out these screenshots in which the supposed eagle’s shadow is indeed mysteriously absent. Some have suggested, however, that the absence of a shadow is due to a small hill or divot in the topography of the park.

3. The baby seems to keep moving upwards, as if in defiance of gravity, for a few frames after he has been released from the bird’s talons. Is this merely evidence of the baby’s momentum, or an out-of-sync sequence of CGI?  Watch the video below a few times and make up your own mind.

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