Hawthorn AFL club admits it faked a viral video of a hawk dropping a snake on a family

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Now if it was carrying a cat, that would have been more believable… a screenshot from the fake video

It was the footage that had everyone talking over the last 48 hours – a Chinese family having a picnic by Melbourne’s Yarra River, snags on the barbie, and Geelong Cats sticker on the esky, when they spot a circling hawk, discussing its appearance in English and Mandarin before the bird swoops down, grabs a snake from the grass, then flies over the family and drops it on top of them.

“Douglas Wong” posted his one and only video on Youtube early on Monday, shortly after signing up, with the comment “so funny. bird dropped snake on my uncle last weekend. scary!”

It became a viral sensation, aided and abetted by numerous media organisations, with many questioning its authenticity, including fellow Youtuber Bird Spy Australia, who demolished the footage with this critique of avian behaviour:

The “hawk’s” flight is all wrong but especially the turns. Even if the hawk looked real the snake would have let you down. The seagull looked real only because it was a real seagull that did not reacted to the “hawk” which it would have if a bird of prey was flying around there.

And The Checkout writer Writer Scott Abbot – a man used to spotting dodgy products – called it early.

His colleague Alex Lee even named the culprits responsible:

Today the Hawks behind the hawk admitted they created it with Melbourne-based fake viral video experts The Woolshed (think the bear chasing a snowboarder, lighting strike couple, lion hunter revenge, tornado selfie, Sydney shark swimmer and more).

Hawthorn AFL club commissioned the video to launch their finals campaign, “Embrace the hunt”.

The club claims there were more than 5 million views of the fake video in 48-hours – Wong’s post has nearly 280,000 – and the Hawks wanted to create a buzz as the team sets out to win its fourth straight premiership.

“We wanted everyone to know that it’s September and the Hawks are on the attack and hopefully we’ve succeeded,” a club spokesperson said.

“The debate over its authenticity has been had by various media outlets across both Australia and the globe. Hopefully we haven’t scared too many people off a BBQ by the Yarra.”

The Geelong sticker on the esky is a reference to Friday night’s qualifying final between the Hawks and Cats.