Naturalist Sir David Attenborough finds himself accused of misleading the public in his Netflix documentary Our Planet.
Aired at the start of the year, the show became notorious for heart-wrenching footage of walruses falling to their deaths from cliffs in Siberia.
Attenborough’s claim that this was due to global warming became highly controversial when it was revealed that the footage had been recorded during an incident when polar bears were known to have driven walruses over the cliffs.
Now, archive video confirms that Attenborough misled his audience. US Fish and Wildlife Service footage, recorded at Cape Pierce in Alaska in 1994, shows that more than 100 walruses had fallen from cliffs there on a number of occasions. The explanation given by scientists at the time was overcrowding on the beaches.
Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, called on Attenborough to acknowledge the empirical evidence and correct the record:
This video proves without any doubt that walruses have fallen from cliffs decades ago. These tragic episodes have nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with breeding success and population pressure.
I hope Sir David will acknowledge these scientific facts. It would be a sad legacy if he did not set the record straight.”