Eagle Baby-Snatching Video Not Without Historical Precedent - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Eagle Baby-Snatching Video Not Without Historical Precedent

Published December 20, 2012

While a recent viral video of a golden eagle snatching and then dropping a child in Montreal has proven to be fake, there was a similar incident in Iceland that many believe was real.
This video, allegedly showing a golden eagle grabbing and then dropping a child in Montreal, was actually made by three students working in the field of 3D Animation and Digital Design.
The story gained particular interest in Iceland, as a similar story happened here. Ragnheiður Eyjólfsdóttir was the alleged victim of an attempted snatching by an eagle in 1879, when she was about two years old. An interview with her appeared in Morgunblaðið’s supplementary reader in 1942, as seen above, under the headline “Eagle stole a two-year-old child, an incredible rescue from the grip of a bird of prey”.
Ragnheiður says in her interview that she was living on the farm Skarð á Skarðsströnd at the time. The story goes that one morning, her mother heard her screams outside, and came running, only to see her child in the air, being carried off with some difficulty by an eagle, most likely a sea eagle, which are native to Iceland.
As it so happened, there were others in the area who witnessed the event and came running to help. Among them was a man named Bogi, who mounted a horse and galloped after the eagle, brandishing a stick that he hoped to use to attack the bird. However, the eagle’s catch proved too heavy to carry, and Ragnheiður was dropped before she could be returned to the eagle’s nest. Ragnheiður was reportedly in shock for a few days after the incident, but soon recovered.
You can read the interview (in Icelandic) here, and by selecting the date 28 June 1942 on the calendar to the left.

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