If you thought the movie Tusk was the most disturbing content to feature a walrus, then you clearly have not watched Netflix's Our Planet yet. The nature documentary series features a brutal scene of walruses falling to their deaths off a cliff, and it's shaking people to their very core.
In the second episode of the Netflix series, "Frozen Worlds," producer and director of the episode Sophie Lanfear watches as a group of walruses scale a tall, steep cliff in order to find a place to rest after feasting. According to Lanfear, the walruses used to rest on ice in the middle of the ocean, but now that the ice has melted due to climate change, the animals have to swim many miles to this rocky shore for some reprieve.
Due to overcrowding on the rocky shore, the walruses are forced to climb high onto the rocks for room. Many get disoriented and plummet to their deaths.
"You’re rooting for them not to go over the edge and for them to go back down the way they came, and a few small groups did go back the way they came, and you are just celebrating," Lanfear told People of the harrowing scene. "Sadly, the majority of the ones on the cliffs did not work that out."
Viewers watching at home had a lot of feelings about this.
"Literally full on sobbed to the walrus moment. This whole docu series is so heartbreaking. #OurPlanet," wrote one fan. "I wish as humans we can do more."
Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness tweeted about wanting to warn the ill-fated walruses.
"No walruses nooooooooo just shimmy down the way you came omg noooooo."
Another fan wasn't sleeping again; only thinking about walrus death.
"Me going to sleep thinking about all those falling walruses #OnePlanet."
Netflix has heard fan cries and recently put out a graphic content warning. The official Netflix Family Twitter account shared time stamps for people wanting to avoid the walrus death, as well as any other disturbing images.
PSA for parents watching Our Planet, here are some sad moments (the walrus 😭) you *may* want to skip:— Netflix Family (@netflixfamily) April 9, 2019
+ One Planet: 16:04-16:43 🦩
+ Frozen World: 16:29-17:47 🐧 & 48:45-51:00 ⛰️
+ Fresh Water: 26:10-27:09 🐊
+ Deserts & Grasslands: 28:45-29:10 🐃
+ High Seas: 37:42-37:52 🐟 pic.twitter.com/wy2lmhTBMG
While the woefully tragic scene has definitely messed people up, some people argue that the reason given in the documentary series for why the walruses are up on the cliff is inaccurate. Canadian zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford claimed it was actually a polar bear attack that encouraged the walruses to fall. (No polar bear is seen in the docu-series.) However, per TMZ, Netflix insists that the fact that less ice is available for the walruses to rest is what put them in dangerous territory.
As sad as this segment of Our Planet is, it may be the emotional kick to remind us that we need to treat the earth better.
Our Planet is available to stream on Netflix now