This YouTube video of a golden eagle plucking up a baby in its claws has received over 18 million views and counting, but is it real?

Alas, it is all just a big prank. The video is just a student project by Normand Achambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin of the Centre NAD in Montreal, Canada. The three students, pursuing a Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design, completed the video for one of their classes in which they were tasked with making a fake YouTube video.

“The production simulation workshop class, offered in fifth semester, aims to produce creative projects according to industry production and quality standards while developing team work skills," the Centre NAD blog explains. "Hoaxes produced in this class have already garnered attention, amongst others a video of a penguin having escaped the Montreal Biodôme."

There were a number of small give-aways that the video was a fake, such as that it is the only video of the uploader, the video contains small glitches in the CGI, and, according to bird expert Kenn Kaufman, the bird in the video isn’t even a golden eagle, Gawker reports.

While the video may have been funny, some people find the project to be offensive. "Birds of prey do not need negative press, and it's not outside of the realm of possibility that people will harm birds of prey or be unnecessarily afraid of them as a result of watching this video in a misguided attempt to protect their children," Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre said, TNT Magazine reports.

Centre NAD, which was established in 1992 and also offered the first game design program in Canada, created the 3D Animation and Design degree in 2010. Students, over the course of their three years of study, complete 90 credits in one of two concentrations, visual effects for cinema and televison and visual effects for video games.

Check out the video of the Centre NAD's other popular video–the escaped penguin–below:

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