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Melissa Mayntz

Fake Video Causes Real Harm

By February 2, 2013

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A video claiming to show an eagle snatching a child in Montreal that went viral in December is causing real harm to birds of prey. According to the Wausau Daily Herald, at least one local bird rehabilitation center has seen more than twice the typical number of raptors admitted in the past few weeks, all with gunshot wounds. Similar increases in injured raptors have been reported in many areas.

Though the video was admitted to be a hoax - it was created by students - it continues to garner attention and has received nearly 42 million views. Multiple copies are also available, and very few of them note the video as fake. Of those that do, none has received nearly the same attention, and the word continues to spread that large birds of prey can be a danger to young children. While raptors can be a threat to small pets, they are no threat at all to humans, particularly not in the portrayed urban park setting, and an eagle isn't even capable of lifting a child off the ground.

Did you believe this video at first? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Golden Eagle
Photo Tony Hisgett


February 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm
(1) Marge Cutter says:

No, I did not believe the video, as I have sufficient experience with and knowledge of, eagles and raptors to know it was not possible. However, I agree that the video has done some damage. I can not believe the number of people who swear that their child ( or very large dog, or sheep, or pony or whatever) has had a close encounter and “was almost carried off” by a raptor. Some people will believe anything, and are quick to jump on the bandwagon and offer testimony to the “truth” of such outrageous accusations. I doubt most of the people who swear to the “close calls” have ever even seen a raptor! Just my opinion.

February 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm
(2) Gale Comin says:

No, I didn’t believe the video either. Perhaps because I know what raptors are and what they are capable of. I’m amazed that anyone could actually believe that video and I’d like to know where they live because it certainly can’t be in Canada or the US. I love to watch the golden eagles come through the valley in the spring and in the fall, going to and coming back from their northern nesting sites. I’d be surprised if the believers of the video could tell the difference between a large hawk and a large crow.

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