A video from Montreal shows a giant Golden Eagle swooping down and snatching a small child before letting the toddler slip out of its grasp.
The Golden Eagle video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, and, within hours, it had spread quickly around the internet. In separate submissions to Reddit, the video gained thousands of user votes and hundreds of comments from users. The video also found its way onto several nature forums and other sites including BuzzFeed.
In the video, what appears to be a family is enjoying the outdoors in what one Reddit user confirmed is Mount Royal in Montreal. The cameraman has the video tracking a giant Golden Eagle as it glides through the air, but then the bird marks a sharp turn and descends downward toward a child sitting on the ground a few feet away from an adult.
From there the Golden Eagle snatches the child, who appears to be two or three years old, eliciting a curse from the cameraman who goes running to help. Later, the video shows a slow motion replay that shows that the Golden Eagle actually lifted the child off the ground for several feet before dropping it to the ground.
Wikipedia notes that Golden Eagles are known to use their speed and agility to snatch prey, and combined with powerful talons they are a feared predator. Some cultures have used them as hunting birds, and Golden Eagles have been known to take down prey as large as white wolves.
Users on Reddit speculated that the Golden Eagle dropped the child because of the kid's heavy winter coat, which may have either been difficult to grasp or felt too unlike the bird's natural prey to hold onto.