TORONTO (AP) — The creators of a video purporting to show an eagle swooping down and snatching a toddler from a Montreal park admitted Thursday that it was all a hoax.
The video entitled "The Golden Eagle Snatches Kid," posted on Youtube earlier this week quickly went viral, earning millions of views and becoming the subject of news reports around the globe.
The video's creators said it was intentionally created as a part of a class project to create a viral video hoax at a new-media training institute in Montreal.
"We had no idea what was coming," a giddy Normand Archambault told The Canadian Press.
Archimbault who created the video along with fellow students Loic Mireault, Antoine Seigle and Felix Marquis-Poulin added: "We were all speechless."
The students were promised a 100 percent score if they received 100,000 page views — and within a few hours, sometime after lunch Wednesday, they had smashed that target 50 times over.
Valerie Boudreau, an admissions assistant at the Centre NAD told The Associated Press the school had not anticipated that the video would receive so much attention.
"We were expecting some reaction but not this big. The students succeeded very well," she said.
Claude Arsenault, a spokesman for the Centre NAD, said the video was done as part of a project in 3D animation and digital design. Both the eagle and the toddler were created in 3D animation and integrated into the film afterward, he said.
An online debate quickly raged about whether or not the video was real, with many people weighing in that it was fake.
The viral video came a week after a story about a monkey decked out in a stylish coat, wandering around an IKEA parking lot in Toronto, made news around the world after a picture of the tiny primate was tweeted by a shopper.