Hundred Walruses Falling To Death Shows How 'Heart-breaking' The Climate Change Is

Bhavna Acharya |May 07, 2020

The Our Planet’s crew managed to capture the footage of hundreds of walruses falling from the cliff to their deaths. In the BTS video, one of the crew members referred to this incident as a ‘heartbreaking’ moment.

Walruses falling to death from the cliff: Our Planet is a newly released series by Netflix that has successfully gained widespread attention around the globe recently. With the production team behind the BBC's highly-rated Planet Earth and David Attenborough as its narrator, Our Planet takes us on an incredible journey of wildlife discovering. It took the production team four years of filming in 50 different nations with over 600 crew members involved in the progress.

The groundbreaking documentary series offers an insane amount of footage captured across the world from the Arctic to the rainforests’ in South America.  In fact, the series took the world by storm as showing footage of walruses falling to death from the cliff which is too distressing to see. 

Walruses Falling To Death 1
Netflix's documentary Out Planet took the world by storm with its heartbreaking scenes and stories

Climate changes are damaging our planet

In contrast to its predecessors, this documentary series has definitely framed the value of nature in a completely novel way. In Planet Earth, we see nature more of our home than a far-flung ecosystem. With a practical approach, Planet Earth brings up a broad indication of climate changes including, global temperatures rise, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels. These all are corroborative evidence for the damaging impact that climate changes are putting on every species in the world. 

Walrus is amid those species who are suffering the most from climate change consequences. After foraging periods on sea ice near their eating areas, Walruses in the Arctic normally will rest or ‘haul-out’. However, nowadays, a large number of Artic walruses have to resort to hauling on small slivers of beach near their bulking areas. There is a prediction by scientists, saying that sea ice will have completely disappeared from the Artic by 2040 as a result of climate changes. 

These colossal haul-outs are terrifying as there are thousands of walruses cramped, trampling on one another in a narrow area. According to what Attenborough has explained in the series, deadly stampedes can occur at any point. 

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Walruses are forced to climb the cliffs as their sea ice - the natural habitat is being destroyed

Walruses are the victim of climate change?

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Our Planet’s cameramen captured something even more disturbing. When finding a way to get out of the large crowd for a rest, some walruses climbed up to rocky slopes overlooking the beach. The confusion started to emerge among the production crew as these hulking animals began to creep the cliff. As soon as they reached the 80-meter escarpment they decided to lie down.

When the walruses realized that their friends down there had begun moving, they were desperately rushing to get back to the water. So, they moved off the rocky cliff without acknowledging that falling from such height can be physically damaging or even fatal. The Our Planet’s crew managed to capture the footage of hundreds of walruses falling from the cliff to their deaths. In the BTS video, one of the crew members referred to this incident as a ‘heartbreaking’ moment.

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The fall of walruses is too devastating to see

This is how viewers react to the heart-breaking scenes:

"This legit brought a tear to my eye. I had no idea the walrus lived in these conditions. I appreciate the fact that Netflix is getting the word out. Also the documentary is awesome."

"This really shook my heart. I was felt numb after seeing this. We humans are the reason who are responsible for this kind of life for them. So sorry walrus!"

Walruses Falling To Death 2
The film crew was shocked to see the massive death of Walruses

The controversy around the deadly fall

On one hand, the footage along with the claim saying that the walruses climb up the cliffs in order to “find space away from the crowds” has sparked off some controversies. Considering that beach the scene from the documentary series shows the below area is relatively empty. Some experts in the walruses study argue that climate change isn’t necessarily held responsible for their distressing behavior.

As documented when sea ice in Artic was still plentiful, there had always been a large number of animals falling to their deaths. There is also evidence for the same behavior of walruses in the US. coastline when sea ice was of no problem.  

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This is not the first time walruses hauling is recorded but it has become more popular over the past few years

On the other hand, another scientist says that these massive gatherings for hauling used to be less in both number and danger. It is the climate changes, particularly, melting ice that has result in the upwards of this occurrence. A Russian naturalist named Anatoly Kochnev, who has been tracking these haul-outs for three decades, says that they used to be only males involved.

Nowadays, females and calves participate in these haul-outs as well. According to The World Wildlife Fund,  scenes like the one shown on Netflix’s series are happening more frequently as a result of walruses’ nature habitats increasing loss. 

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