MONTREAL: A YouTube video of a golden eagle swooping down and lifting a toddler off the ground in Montreal could soar to Internet stardom as the latest episode of animals behaving strangely in Canada. Coming just a week after a monkey wearing a sheepskin coat was found wandering around an IKEA parking lot in Toronto, the video shows the massive eagle — with a roughly six-foot (two-meter) wing span, circling a public park.
The eagle then swoops down, lifts an unsuspecting toddler off the ground by its winter coat and carries it a few feet before dropping it on the grass. After cursing in English, the French-speaking man filming the incident races over to comfort the bewildered child, who starts crying but does not appear to have been seriously hurt. “A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal! What if he got away with it!?” reads a caption under the video, posted by MrNuclearCat.
The video, which can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE0Q904gtMI, had just 311 views early yesterday but was making the rounds on Twitter. “Destined to be huge!” one user wrote. “Craziest video I’ve seen in a long time,” tweeted another. The golden eagle is the largest bird of prey in North America, and can dive at its quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour, according to the US National Geographic Society. The eagle likely mistook the toddler for a rabbit, marmot or ground squirrel, its normal prey.