(Gene Sloan, USA TODAY)

New Netflix documentary claimed to be misportraying climate change

Warning, the video at the bottom of this story may be considered graphic to viewers

April 09, 2019 - 9:21 am

"Our Planet" is a new Netflix show from David Attenborough that shows the impact of climate change on the earth and contains some very shocking scenes. One of the scenes disturbing viewers the most involves walruses at the Bering Strait falling from a steep cliff and dying at its rocky bottom. However, some believe the show has misportrayed the circumstances – and their deaths may not have been caused by global warming. 

Some critics say the grisly scene was actually caused by the threat of polar bears that frightened the animals and drove them off the cliff. It was reported in 2017, in the Russian Arctic where the Netflix scene was filmed, that hundreds of walruses fell to their death after being frightened by polar bears.

 Zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford has called the scene "contrived nonsense" and "fiction and emotional manipulation at its worst," she told the UK's Telegraph

However, the powerful and graphic video has made its mark on social media.

"The walrus scenes were the hardest things I've ever had to witness or film in my career," said Producer Sophie Lanfear. "I was expecting that perhaps the walruses would tumble down, but at the end, they'd be okay. I really wasn't prepared for the scale of death."

A clip circulating online shows a behind the scenes look at how the event impacted the filmmakers, but it is not easy to watch.