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Theft from Above

A very brief history of birds snatching small humans.

by Adam Clark Estes
Dec 19 2012, 9:34pm

By now, we've probably all seen the instant viral sensation from Montréal "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid." We've also probably all come to the sobering realization that it is, in fact, a fake. The evidence supporting that notion is really starting to stack up. From some inconsistencies in the video itself that could be attributed to sloppy CGI work to the unusual way the bird swoops down towards the toddler, there are all kinds of things wrong with the video. It certainly doesn't help that a 3D animation school in Montréal conducts an annual "hoax the Internet" exam.

There is something undeniably right about the video, though. Giant birds of prey do try to steal toddlers from time to time. As many have pointed out, they're certainly strong enough, with a talon grip that's up to 25 times more powerful than that of a human hand. They're also hungry enough, as evidenced in the many very real videos on YouTube showing eagles and hawks snatching up mountain goats and baby deer. And yes, babies are vulnerable enough, especially if their parents are dumb enough to leave them sitting unattended on a lawn while hungry birds circle above.

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