DAVID ATTENBOROUGH reputation now in tatters.

Graham Lear
2 min readApr 18, 2019


In his narration for the Our Planet show, David Attenborough claims that lack of sea ice is forcing walruses ashore, where they fall from cliffs.

However, his story is now in tatters. In recent days critics have documented that:

1. Long before global warming could have been a factor, walruses hauled out on shore every year at the same location where falling walruses were filmed by the Netflix team. 1.)

2. Many or even most of the walruses that fell were reportedly driven over the cliffs by polar bears. There is a contemporaneous news report of hundreds of walruses being driven over the cliffs at the same location a few days before the film crew arrived.

The Netflix film makes no mention of the presence of polar bears, and the producers have denied that they played a part, despite their own “Behind the Scenes” video showing that they were still in close proximity at the time of the filming

“Did Sir David know about the reported attack by polar bears? Did he know that polar bears were in close proximity during the filming? Did he know that walrus haul-outs have been documented at the same location long before the advent of global warming?

“The story that Netflix is telling the public is mostly fantasy. He should disown the script that was put in front of him”.

  1. ) The location has been shown definitively to be Ryrkaypiy, in Russia’s Chukotka region. The USGS survey database says of the site “Arsen’ev (1927) noted Cape Schmidt as a large haulout at the end of the 19th century or begin of the 20th century”. (Fischbach AS et al. (2016) Pacific walrus coastal haulout database, 1852–2016). Anatoly Kochnev, the scientist interviewed in the Netflix series believes that there may have been haulouts at the site until the 1960s.

Dr. Susan Crockford blog post on the polar bear attack on walruses in the same location at the same time.

Andrew Montford blog post demonstrating the geographical location where the Netflix footage came from.

Andrew Montford blog post, showing that the Netflix film crew may have been a contributory factor in the tragedy.

Paul Homewood blog post, pointing out that use of drones may also have been a factor.

Ecologist Jim Steele review of scientific literature on walrus haulouts, confirming that population is the most significant factor.

For years ATTENBOROUGH has been seen as an icon in wildlife programs. However, in his twilight years, we can see that he is now manipulating people on climate change.



Graham Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.