In Australia, fearful children walk to school with ice-cream buckets on the heads to avoid swooping magpies.

Canadian children have much more to worry about, if this video is anything to go by. Watch the terrifying moment that a Golden Eagle swoops down and snatches a toddler in its talons.


 

The incredible footage was allegedly captured at a Montreal park and posted to YouTube yesterday. The anonymous camera man appears to have been filming the majestic bird - whose wingspan can reach over two metres - soar through the sky before it snatches the child while his mother's back is turned. The man then puts down the camera and runs towards the toddler, who looks startled and upset when dropped by the bird reunited with his mother.

Golden Eagles are the largest bird of prey in North America and typically prey upon ground animals like rabbits, marmot and squirrels. They have also been known to attack baby deer. At full flight, Golden Eagles can reach speeds of 240 kilometres an hour.

Update: Students from Montreal's National Animation and Design Centre (NAD) have admitted that the video is a fake. It was made by Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin, in a production simulation workshop class. Hoaxes produced in this class have already garnered attention, amongst others a video of a penguin having escaped the Montreal Biodôme.