Although Netflix’s new David Attenborough series Our Planet has been applauded by viewers around the globe, one particular scene has been labelled one of the most distressing ever seen in a nature documentary.
A segment in the second episode of the show follows walruses stranded on a cliff top, confused by a combination of shrinking ice cover and their own poor eyesight. Unaware of how high up they are, many of the two-tonne Arctic animals fall to their deaths.
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If the Walrus scene in Our Planet doesn’t make you reconsider everything you’re doing to make climate change happen nothing will.
They’re doing this because of us. Jesus. pic.twitter.com/x6VcdJP6r4
— Elliot Hackney (@ElliotHackney) April 7, 2019
“Their natural home is out on the sea ice, but the ice has retreated away to the north and this is the closest place to their feeding grounds,” Attenborough explains.
“Every square inch is occupied, climbing over the tightly packed bodies is the only way across the crowd – those beneath can get crushed to death.
“In a desperate bid to avoid the crush they try head towards the cliffs.”
He continues: “A walrus’ eyesight out of water is poor. But they can sense the others down below. As they get hungry, they need to return to the sea.
“In their desperation to do so, hundreds fall from heights they should never have scaled.”
After watching the devastating fall, many took to Twitter to share their grief over the scene.
Burst into tears watching #OurPlanet , that walrus scene was the most harrowing thing I've ever seen on a documentary. But well done #netflix, sometimes the heartbreaking scenes are what will inspire people to make a difference
— Rhiannon (@_rhiannonirving) April 7, 2019
Oh man, that #OURPLANET walrus scene was so devastating ????????
— Mark Sweeney (@sween93) April 7, 2019
That walrus scene from #OurPlanet will haunt me for the rest of my life.
— Alien Private Eye (@Fatcaterpillar1) April 6, 2019
Friday night and im in bed thug crying over the Walrus scene in #OurPlanet . Seeing Walruses plunge off cliffs to their deaths is not something that leaves your mind
— Naje Pou’w Soti (@DiriAvecLegumes) April 6, 2019
I never thought I'd be destroyed like this. That walrus scene was heavyyy ???? #OurPlanet
— Phantom Steve (@smisidore_) April 8, 2019
Yet the harrowing episode also gave others “new perspective” on the impact of climate change, with many calling for humans to do more to combat the problem.
— Lottie Andrews (@lottieandrews) April 7, 2019
Watched the first two episodes of #OurPlanet today and if the Walrus scene with them falling to their deaths doesn’t make you seriously think about what more you can do to combat climate change, nothing will. Seriously tough but crucially important watch @ourplanet ????
— Mids (@LFCMids) April 7, 2019
Thought Our Planet would be an easy Sunday night watch. Wrong. Walrus plunging to their deaths all because they’ve not enough ice to live on. Horrible to see, but important. Eye opener for me. #OurPlanet
— Lewis Bromley ???????? (@Bromley_LUFC) April 7, 2019
Can’t believe what I’ve just witnessed on #OurPlanet The walrus scene is the most heartbreaking, important wildlife footage highlighting the impact of #climatechange I implore everyone to watch it – we can’t close our eyes to the damage we’re doing to our planet!
— Anna (@annarchristian) April 7, 2019
The walrus scene on #OurPlanet was one of the most harrowing scenes I’ve ever watched on a wildlife documentary, hats off to Netflix for showing the true effect of what we are doing
— Ella✨ (@EllaWharram) April 7, 2019
Of course, climate change is an issue close to Attenborough’s heart.
Sitting down recently with RadioTimes.com, he said: “If the oceans temperatures rise in the way that they’re threatening to do, that is a huge catastrophe for homo sapiens. The fact is that huge proportions of human beings depend upon the seas for food. And we know that we can’t afford to keep on making mistakes. We are going to be dependent on the seas, and at the moment we are poisoning them and boiling them.”
You can read the full interview here.
Our Planet is now available to watch on Netflix