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David Attenborough's Our Planet Mass Walrus Death Scene Accused Of Being 'Lie'

David Attenborough's Our Planet Mass Walrus Death Scene Accused Of Being 'Lie'

If you've had a chance to watch David Attenborough's Our Planet yet, then no doubt one of the first scenes that'll spring to mind is when walruses fall off a cliff edge to their deaths.

The bizarre and tragic occurrence is presented as a consequence of climate change, with a lack of sea ice prompting the animals to seek unnatural resting points and the species' poor eyesight leading them to fall off the edge of the 80-metre cliff when they attempt to return to the sea.

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But a zoologist has claimed that the footage has been misleadingly presented in order to support the climate change agenda of the show.

In a post on her website, Dr Susan Crockford said: "The lie being told by Attenborough and the film crew is that 200-300 walruses fell during the time they were filming, while in fact they filmed only a few: polar bears were responsible for the majority of the carcasses shown on the beach below the cliff.

"This is, of course, in addition to the bigger lie that lack of sea ice is to blame for walrus herds being on shore in the first place."

The mass walrus death made for difficult viewing. Credit: Netflix
The mass walrus death made for difficult viewing. Credit: Netflix
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Dr Crockford also thinks the footage was taken following an incident in 2017 in Siberia, which saw hundreds of walruses fall to their deaths after being scared by polar bears.

She continued: "The film crew have steadfastly refused to reveal precisely where and when they filmed the walrus deaths shown in this film in relation to the walrus deaths initiated by polar bears in the fall of 2017.

"I can only conclude, therefore, that the two incidents are indeed essentially one and the same."

However, the producers of the 'Frozen Worlds' episode of Our Planet have denied that there is any truth to Dr Crockford's theory.

Sophie Lanfear said the episode does not present the mass walrus death misleadingly. Credit: Netflix
Sophie Lanfear said the episode does not present the mass walrus death misleadingly. Credit: Netflix

Sophie Lanfear, who directed the episode and was present during filming, said: "We filmed Pacific walrus falling from high cliffs. They were not being driven off the cliffs by the polar bears and we know this because we had two team members watching the cliffs from afar who could see the polar bears and were in radio communications with us to warn us about any bears approaching the crew closer to the walrus and the cliffs.

"Once the walrus had rested at the top for a few days they wanted to return to sea when all the others below started to leave. We would watch them for hours teetering back and forth on the edge before finally, falling off.

"Fundamentally, the reason walrus used this haul out location is because of a lack of sea ice in the region, meaning they are coming ashore more frequently than they did in the past.

"Especially mothers with their pups. And at this particular site, once the beach below the cliffs was full, they spread out and up the cliffs and were unable to find their way safely down, with tragic consequences."

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, Nature

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

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