A video recently posted on YouTube shows a frightening scene in which a Golden Eagle, said to be North America's largest bird of prey, flies over a family in a Montreal park, hones in on a small child and lifts it into the air.
The video, entitled "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" and published to the video sharing website on Tuesday, shows what appears to be a family in a park in Montreal, Canada. A man filming focuses on a Golden Eagle flying in the sky overheard and follows it with the camera as the large bird suddenly swoops low and pauses directly next to a small unattended child sitting on the grass.
The man behind the camera suddenly utters an expletive as the Golden Eagle approaches the baby and lifts it into the air -- while another person nearby rummages through a bag not noticing that the eagle has taken the baby airborne.
A frantic scene ensues in which the camera man lowers the camera and runs toward the child. A male voice can be heard in the background yelling "hey," presumably in an attempt to get the Golden Eagle to drop the child -- which it does.
The child soon appears on camera, unharmed, having apparently been dropped by the Golden Eagle two or three feet from the air. Another man is seen on camera comforting the startled baby, while the cameraman asks in French, "Are you okay?"
The remaining 30 seconds of the video is a replay of the strange incident in slow motion.
Viewers of the video were as stunned as the YouTube user who shared it online.
"A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal! What if he got away with it!?" wrote the video publisher.
A link of the video of the Golden Eagle snatching the child was also shared on Reddit, with one viewer commenting: "Could you imagine turning around and seeing your kid fly away in the talons of an eagle? Who would believe you?"
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation identifies the Golden Eagle as endangered. According to the organization's website, these eagles measure 27-33 inches in length, have a wingspan of 78 inches and weigh 7-14 pounds.
"These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. They are extremely swift, and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles per hour," according to National Geographic.
"Golden eagles use their speed and sharp talons to snatch up rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. They also eat carrion, reptiles, birds, fish, and smaller fare such as large insects. They have even been known to attack full grown deer," adds National Geographic.