Golden Eagle Snatches Baby

No details on how heavy the child is, but it appears that the eagle had him (her?) off the ground for a short distance. Amazing. 

I'm seeing claims around the web that this might be fake. It looks convincing to me, and I can tell you that raptors attempting to take children is a well-attested phenomenon. However, I haven't seen claims for this particular species before that I can recall. The presence of adults isn't necessarily a deterrent, as people have lost pets to large eagles and owls and even to red-tailed hawks. 

Up close with a Golden Eagle--recent photos by Dee, with her comment on the impressive size of these birds. 

Thanks to Grant and D'Arcy for the news tip. 

Update: This has been revealed as a hoax. From Yahoo News:

"Some people also brought up the existence of an annual Hoax the Internet contest held at a 3D animation school in, you guessed it, Montreal. This theory proved to be the most accurate as the visual arts school Centre NAD released a statement confirming the video was fake. The statementreads, in part, that it "was made by Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin, students at Centre NAD, in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design."

See also James's skeptical comment below, which largely anticipates this news.


  1. Why I tend to believe claims that it's a fake--as real as the action looks, and it had me fooled till I did some digging--is that the baby seems pretty much OK, just cranky, in the final shot; not a lot of screaming or profanity from the watching adults, which would almost certainly accompany a genuine eagle abduction; the eagle's plumage indicates either a very young golden or--once we admit the possibility of fakery--an imperial eagle, a species not indigenous to the New World. There is actually an account, very similar to the crowned eagle attack in Africa, of a little girl, 9 or 10, being attacked by a golden in Canada around the turn of the 20th century, and at least one other Youtube video of a trained golden (berkut, as the Asian subspecies is known) missing its cue and grabbing a little nomad boy in a fur cloak...this bird was pulled off the kid before it could do much harm.

    Also, the eagle seems to have gotten airborne again with almost no difficulty, since he can't be heard screaming/barking nearby; my grasp of physics is hazy, but to grab a kid this size would check the eagle in flight (the average golden weighs, I want to say, c. 10 lb) and he would have probably not been able to take off smoothly, going to roost nearby or even being grounded. Again, talking of grounded: the tendency of the golden, and most similar species, is to kill or incapacitate large prey on the ground before taking off with it. The exception I've seen is when the birds attack young chamois, bighorn, ibex, etc. and can fall into a strong updraft to coast down with a not-quite-dead fawn or kid in their talons. The premise of an eagle attacking a kid this size--even with an adult nearby--I can buy into, but the finer points are suspect. (Then again, I tend to credit the Patterson Footage as legit!) :)

  2. Oh, I sent this to you via Facebook, didn´t know you had already posted about it.

    There's a couple videos online in which trained Mongolian golden eagles seem to attack children down in the crowd that is watching them fly.
    There's indeed a lot of screaming and people trying to get the bird off the children if I well remember. I think any bird of prey that can actually overpower a wolf should be considered plenty capable of mauling or killing a human if it was really trying.


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