The 30-second video of a pig heroically rescuing a baby goat that seemed stuck in the middle of a pond went viral in September.
It has now emerged the YouTube video which buzzed around the Internet for months is a fake.
The video, which was posted on 19 September, went viral within hours and was widely covered by American television channels like NBC and ABC. The video has more than seven million views.
Check out the video here:
It now appears the whole exercise was staged. And it was a very elaborate staging process. It is understood an enormous team of people was involved in getting the pig to swim up to the goat for the purposes of this video; the video was originally created for Comedy Central's Nathan for You and some 20 crew members were involved in the making of the video. Apart from animal trainers and scuba divers, a plastic track was used to lead the pig up to the goat.
Unfortunately, by the time the truth about the video was revealed a number of unsuspecting news outlets were quick to spread the news about the video.
"It really is embarrassing for the journalists who stumbled upon this and decided to promote it or share it with their audience," Kelly McBride, the senior faculty for ethics, reporting and writing at the Poynter Institute, told New York Times, "It's almost a form of malpractice."
However, the creators of the video are surprised only by the attention the video has gotten.
"If we were trying to pull an elaborate hoax on the news, I think we could have pushed further," said Nathan Fielder, the star of Nathan for You, "But we weren't. We found it interesting that people were sharing it without us saying anything."
Fielder uploaded the video to YouTube under the user name jebdogrpm. In the description of the video, Feider wrote: "Pig saves goat who's (sic) foot was stuck underwater at petting zoo. Simply amazing."
By next morning, the video was a hit.
And as far as the ethics of the matter is concerned, Fielder said: "I definitely don't think I have the same ethical responsibility as the news. And I definitely don't see anything wrong, ethically, with posting a video on YouTube that is presented as something it's not."
Footage provided by Comedy Central shows the hard work put in by the crew behind the creation of the short video. Check out the making of the video below: