UK & World News
Eagle Prank Video: Students Admit Trickery
Three students from Canada have admitted creating a fake video that appears to show an eagle snatching a child.
In the first 24 hours it was online, the clip of the eagle swooping and lifting the toddler off the ground was watched more than five million times.
But a university in Montreal has since confirmed the video was made as part of a 3D animation course and that both the eagle and the child are fake.
Centre NAD said in a blog post: "The child and the eagle were created using 3D animation by the students and then dropped into real footage."
The three students - Normand Archambault, Loic Mireault and Felix Marquis-Poulin - received top grades for their efforts.
Although many people were fooled by the animation - including media outlets around the world - there were early claims that it was technological trickery.
But Twitter user DocWan echoed the thoughts of many on the site: "If the eagle video is fake, it's a really well-made fake."
The video is not a laughing matter for all, however. The clip angered the US Black Swamp Bird Observatory, which warned that "this kind of publicity does so much damage to birds".
"With all the ignorance about nature that's out there already, the last thing we need is this kind of stupid garbage," said bird expert Kenn Kaufman.