Over the weekend, a video along with a warning of a large group of eagles flying in circles above Genting Highlands went viral on WhatsApp and social media
"Avoid Genting Highland and Bukit Tinggi areas for the time being. Almost 1000 eagles flying together is very abnormal," read the vastly forwarded message.
The 40-second clip shows numerous eagles circling the sky, while a man can be heard in the background speaking Hokkien, Mandarin, and Bahasa Malaysia, most notably saying, "This is not a good thing, not good."
Genting Highlands has since denied that the video was taken there and warned that the message being spread around was fake news
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) has also enlightened that the phenomenon seen in the video was typical of large birds
When contacted by The Star, PERHILITAN wildlife officer Hasdi Hassan explained that the eagles were using thermal columns to glide.
According to BirdLife, large birds of prey such as eagles are known to rely on these warm, rising currents of air to gain height and save energy to fly over long distances.
Hasdi also added that it was normal for eagles to glide in large numbers, especially when there is an abundance of food.
Many netizens have since called to stop spreading the video to prevent panic among those who saw the eagles as a bad omen
This user assured that there was nothing extraordinary or worrying about the eagles, "No need to avoid anything. Try to avoid creating panic when there is no need to."
"Don't create panic among old aunties and uncles in Malaysia. There is a reason that the eagles do so," echoed this user.
While this user joked, "Maybe the eagles want to go for a holiday too. They usually only hang out in Langkawi."