Is This Video of an Eagle Lifting a Baby Real or Fake?

The internet is in a massive debate today over a video of a baby being lifted into the air by an eagle. The video was released last night and since than has been viewed millions of times. Some argue that the video is real and that golden eagles can lift animals much heavier than this baby. Others argue that it is a CGI stunt? What do you think?

Don't think an eagle can lift a baby? Think again.

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44 Comments

It's fake. The baby keep lifting even when the eagle drop him...
youtube dot com /watch?v=GjOljUMc-Nc

Lee Morris's picture

upward momentum?

Could be, but doesn't seem to be in this case. If you watch closely on that frames (0:26) it's almost out of sync... but for sure, a very good fake... I would love to see the making of this video... :)

 It appears, as the eagle was climbing it attempted to let go, one claw successfully releases but one of its very sharp talons is caught on the baby's clothes therefore the baby gets an additional tug before the entanglement breaks. The motion of the baby is very typical of such a situation. I am a video animator by trade I composite my graphics into live video all the time, and from looking at the lighting, and the motion, I'm certain it is real.

 "I am a video animator by trade I composite my graphics into live video
all the time, and from looking at the lighting, and the motion, I'm
certain it is real."

Sorry to tell you this... but..
http://fstoppers.com/fake-eagle-lifting-a-baby-is-a-cgi-stunt

Regardless...when i saw that video last night it only had 301 views!!!!

Jens Marklund's picture

Unless you aren't ironic - this happens when a youtube clips is being watched a lot in the first few hours - so youtube stops the view count at around 301 to check that all the clicks aren't bots etc. Takes a while, and then it's back up. Happens daily on channels with a lot of subscribers. 

That doesn't mean it really had 301 views.
Youtube blocks the counter at 301 to check if the views are real or fake; so in fact it could be 200k views - still displaying 301.
That's also the reason some videos have at some point 301 views and 1342 likes (or so)

chris aldridge's picture

My vote is for FAKE. The reaction of the parent is far too casual. To say he's watching his baby be carried off by an eagle, he just sort of casually jogs across. No sprinting, no waving of hands or anything. Even if the baby had been dropped by the time he saw it I'd expect them to be a bit more animated.

I don't know about that -- the reaction I'd expect from a parent watching an eagle lifting his or her kid off the grass at a park would be something along those lines -- it would be so preposterous that the mind wouldn't really make sense of it until after it was all over.

Mike Kelley's picture

Real or fake, it's absolutely hilarious.

Dan Lubbers's picture

That's what I thought. It made me laugh hard and that's what matters - HAH!

Def''ly fake.

It has to be fake, the perspective looks to change incorrectly as the bird flys in for his approach from above the trees to his glide in. Also, you see the bird start to dramatically slow down before he adjusts his wings. Also, birds don't really go after prey near humans, or after babies as far as I know. And also, one last thing, the fact that it even got posted, probably means the video is fake. 

lastly, reading the FB post for Fstopper, somebody said that there was talk from the actors about making this fake video.

Lee Morris's picture

It's really interesting that everyone here says its fake but the majority of people commenting on our Facebook think that it is real. 

Maybe the people who visit your website more often are editors while the people who like your facebook page are just photography lovers :)

ot facebook user are just stupid?

Nailed it.

My vote is fake (although very well done) mainly because of the behavior of the photographer.  Not only does the parent not scream, flail his arms, etc.  but the photographer doesn't run either. The camera drops toward the grass and, if you watch his shadow, he *walks* toward the incident. Maybe he walks quickly but I would expect everyone in this incident to be screaming and running for an attack like this. When an animal attacks a child people freak out. When a child is dropped 4' to the ground, people freak out. 

For me, the guy spends way too much time following the bird in the beginning of the video. No one does that. 

by how he's reacted i can tell it's fake..

You can tell by how he reacted! If this was a staged film (fake) then surely, as actors they would have acted as you would have expected them too and not how they did!!! Its just a bit of a weak argument you have!!!

Jens Marklund's picture

Whatever it is, you guys' arguments are terrible. Jason, I don't know if you mean that it's real or fake. Cause he probably followed the bird a lot longer, and cut it out of the clip. It's a rare bird probably, and he wants to film it. 

Michalbr, I don't know/care what country this is - but it might be a different culture over there. Or maybe he had experience with these birds to know it's not gonna get away with the kid. But yeah, it's a weird reaction. 

Jaron. My name is Jaron. And you make a fair point.

all that second video proves is that an eagle can pull a sheep off balance long enough to force it over a cliff. 
At first sight, I thought maybe it was real, cos I didn't notice the "drop" initially, it looked like the eagle never actually picked the kid up, and the kid just went from sitting to walking a few steps - then suddenly he's falling 2-3 feet?
Seconded on the father's reaction not being believable. 

REAL. I feel crazy with everyone saying its fake, but nothing about how it was done looks fake. And the behavior of the eagle also looks real... I dunno.. Golden Eagles do shit like that all the time.. And in south America people use kids wrapped in foam to train their Harpy Eagles to hunt.. 

I will also add that the child's scream doesn't sound right to me. As a father, when children fall from a couple feet they tend to take a long deep breath and scream entirely silently for a second. Next is a blood-curdling scream that comes from their feet. This baby just whines like he's hungry or cold.  Again, not conclusive but every child in my daughter's day care would scream like there was not tomorrow from that fall.

It's 100% Fake.  1.  What are the chances that this guy with a video camera is watching this eagle fly just as it decides to snatch up a kid?  2. When is the last time you saw an eagle?  of any kind?  Not only are they rare, they tend to not hunt in the city, because they're not stupid birds.  3.  Where were the puncture wounds on the kid where the eagles talons would have HAD to dig in in order to lift the kid up.  If the had just grabbed the jacket, it would have just torn the jacket off the kid probably or just ripped the jacket becaues of the weight of the kid.  If it would have gone through the jacket, it would have gone through the kids skin. Where is the blood?  4. The speed of the bird/trajectory/distance when it swoops in is just really bad animation/compositing.  Eagles know exactly what they are killing, if they don't.... they don't risk it.  Fake fake fake.  =)

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