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Walruses Are Jumping Off Cliffs to Their Deaths—Yes, Because of Climate Change

Walruses Are Jumping Off Cliffs to Their Deaths—Yes, Because of Climate Change

Shaye Wolf

The new Netflix series “Our Planet” documents the devastation wrought by humans on animals and their habitats. It’s heartbreaking. In fact, some scenes are so wrenching that Netflix last week tweeted a list of time stamps for scenes that “animal lovers may want to skip.”

One of those scenes is in the second episode (“Frozen World”). It shows Pacific walruses, one after another, tumbling off 250-foot-high cliffs to their deaths.


Climbing an unfamiliar cliff, because there’s no place else to go, then tumbling off because it gets too crowded up there… has disturbing resonance.

But I’m sure I can’t watch. One gets to the point where we’ve sustained well past our minimum yearly requirement of emotional stress. I accidentally saw a swordfish get stuck in the Deepwater Horizon rig (quite awhile ago, now). It’s an image which defies erasure, like a scar I’ll carry to my grave.


I have learned that humans are rotten creatures. They are weak and stupid and do not care about their own kind let alone other creatures of this realm. Unlike the other creatures of this Earth they are able to pretend and when they pretend, they close their eyes or turn away and pretend that some things do not exist and therefore it cannot hurt them. Wrong!

To really know the world, all it takes is once to hit the ground really hard to understand what life is all about.

By the time most Earthlings get a clue…it is too late. I do not see them changing anytime soon.


I saw the Netflix episode of the walruses falling down the cliffs. It is indeed heartbreaking and very difficult to watch. The view of the walruses hauled out in such great numbers that there is literally no open space. They are shoulder to shoulder for as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately the Capitalists only respond to profit. Walruses? No profit, no interest, F)#&'em. How about we write two letters a day to the politicians demanding action. Then ask our friends to each write two letters everyday. A tsunami of letters, day after day might catch their attention. Take action.


The article makes me distraut, but the headline pisses me off. They are not “jumping” to their deaths “because of climate change” (a.k.a. suicide). They are falling because of conditions imposed by climate change. Want to make people trivialize this or blow it off as anthropomorphism and “tree hugging”? Keep writing misleading, stupid headlines!


It shows Pacific walruses, one after another, tumbling off 250-foot-high cliffs to their deaths.

Maybe I missed it but

How are Walruses getting 250 ft up the cliff (so they can jump) in the first place? I"m not John Muir but I’m guessing that your average Walrus is not a good climber.

I have no idea how long it took these walrusus to evolve their sea ice-dependent adaptation. Possibly thousands of years.

But I sure as hell know that it took just a couple hundred years for us to destroy the habitat they adapted to.

I view humans as an outbreak. Akin to an insidious virus or fast-spreading rash. And even though we’re capable of correcting course, we’re too oblivious, selfish, and greedy to seize the opportunity to not take so much wonder down with us.

Now it’s too late except to lament that “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.”


Not trying to stir up bad memories for you, but I live about 70 mi. from where Deepwater went down, so you’ve peaked my interest. Were you on it that fateful night? If so, would be interested to know what you know or were told about the blowout and confirm or deny things I was told about it.

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and no help for the walrus another lifeforms dismissed—because Trump has dissed just another life form in his reordering of he planet. Sigh—he’s killing off mammals and I guess that all of us are next. I wonder------- if he had a heart attack, would any doctor save him?

If we don’t haul out of our death spiral

The edge of the cliff awaits us all


I am an animal lover to say the least and I couldn’t watch. I have seen enough in person, and in films as well. This is just awful- all animals and humans are connected, and when one species suffers, we all do.


The doctor would save him, but we can and need to do better than that for ourselves, the animals and the planet. Just sighing is not going to cut it. Doing something and not just talking about it is where it is at.

Thank you for your intelligent insight.

Hi meal outs—hmmm you really think that any and every doctor would save him? I find that hard to believe. : )

You just gave Dump even more attention when we are talking about the awful plight of walruses. I guess only he is important to you.

Hi mealouts LOL, no I think not : )

Sorry for the confusion: I wrote “rig” because I don’t know what to call that spewing pipe they had a constant video-feed of. On that feed (from here in the East Bay Area, where I travel extensively) I saw a gorgeous swordfish get stuck in the wreckage. I was amazed a vertebrate that large could sustain the pressure at that depth.

Though it was purely through video, for me it’s as unforgettably poignant as a direct connection. Terrible videos of suffering wildlife might induce numbing sometimes. There’s a lot out there. For me, I’ve had enough. I get it.


I haven’t seen the show yet but I am a climber. Plenty of great climbs have very casual walk offs on the other side. I’m no geologist but I believe it is a combination of uplifting with tilting and erosion being more on one side for whatever reason.

Impact = People x Affluence x Technology

and we have too many people with an average Affluence that may not be that high but will only go up and Technology getting better (a lower mulriplier in this case) needs to happen damn fast. It would be nice to talk about the people number too. AOC is right - everybody needs to think if they want to have any kids and if they do, whether they want to have 2 or just try to network with friends to get your 1 kid socialized just as well. If anybody is thinking about 3 or more kids at this point, they aren’t thinking very well or are ignorant (it would be nice if we could fix these two problems)

Sorry - HOW does a 4,400 lb walrus climb 250ft up a cliff? I’ve seen walrus in the flesh (zoo) even saw one in the wild once (Straights of Juan de Fuca) floated there as we sailed by it. They Climb? Nahaaaaa…

and just an aside - someone else said it here - I don’t buy that they are JUMPING off the cliff. Fall, ok but JUMP? LOL

So, stick up for the animals who have no voice.