One of the most noted detractors of the walrus scene is Susan Crockford, a zoologist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. She wrote an article for the Siberia Times in 2017 when the film was still in production, according to an article by the Telegraph. She argued that the narration's suggestion that ice dissipation -- not preying polar bears -- drove the walruses off the cliff is inaccurate. She referred to the scenes as "tragedy porn."
"This powerful story is fiction and emotional manipulation at its worst," Crockford wrote. "The walruses shown in this Netflix film were almost certainly driven over the cliff by polar bears during a well-publicized incident in 2017, not because they were confused by a combination of shrinking ice cover and their own poor eyesight."
According to a Complex report, Netflix is standing behind its film's authenticity. Netflix said it worked with a Russian biologist with more than 30 years of experience working on the coastline. That expert confirmed for the film's producers that climate change has forced walruses to gather on unsafe land masses that are not suitable for their survival.
In Attenborough’s narration, he explained that more than 100,000 walruses were gathering on a lone beach “out of desperation.”
Online, many expressed sadness and shock in response to the scenes.
Others warned potential viewers not to watch, because the scene could leave them “extremely traumatized.”