Our Planet has taken viewers on an emotional rollercoaster since its release; full of downs and – well – mostly downs, the series drives home the devastating reality of climate change.
In just eight gut-wrenching episodes, the docu-series has unapologetically forced viewers to confront the reality that our planet needs saving. And quickly.
Already, we’ve borne witness to walruses tumbling to their deaths from a steep cliff – all because shrinking sea ice had left them stranded and confused. And now, viewers have had their hearts broken once more during a devastating baby flamingo scene.
Take a look at the trailer for Our Planet below:
There’s no doubt that the new Netflix series, from the makers of Planet Earth and narrated by Emmy and BAFTA winner Sir David Attenborough, is heavily guided by the crucial issue of climate change.
With extraordinary visuals captured by Sir David’s camera crew, there’s no escaping the devastating reality that climate change is affecting every living creature on the planet, causing death and destruction on an unthinkable level.
And Sir David never shies away from these issues throughout the entire series, with the first episode containing perhaps one of the most heartbreaking scenes in all eight episodes.
The opening episode documents a large salt pan in Africa which is populated by a flock of flamingos; with the sun bearing down on the flock, the water supplies dry up and the flamingos are forced to flee across the salt plains.
However, it isn’t that easy. With hundreds of babies who can’t fly, the adults must walk alongside their offspring to guide them to the fresh water. But some fail to keep up and are inevitably left behind.
If the flamingos don’t move quickly, the salt will solidify around their legs and it will make it increasingly difficult for them to walk, never mind keep up with the rest of their flock.
Sir David narrates, as one baby flamingo gets left behind:
They may have to trek for 50 kilometres. Some cannot keep up. The salt has solidified around their legs.
— Justin Stewart (@ProducerStewart) April 6, 2019
Viewers were understandably left feeling heartbroken by the scenes, with many taking to social media to describe how they were moved to tears.
Some expressed their hope that the crew went back to help the flamingo, while another said they were having an ’emotional breakdown’ after watching the scene.
Others said they ‘sobbed’ as they watched the baby’s plight, while another said they wished they could save the flamingo themselves.
— Kate (@kathleen2690) April 6, 2019
Who else watched the first episode of Our Planet on Netflix and sobbed while watching that little baby flamingo with the salt-laden legs struggle to keep up with the rest of the flock 😭😭😭😭😭😭
— Nicole (@swanicole) April 5, 2019
I’d be hopeless as a wildlife cameraman. I’d be saving this flamingo with solidified salt around it’s ankles and bringing it home to look after. It could live in my pond @NetflixUK #OurPlanet #flamingoes pic.twitter.com/Loeb4ymT6A
— Nicola (@80schickx) April 7, 2019
As heartbreaking as the series is to watch, it’s necessary to do so. Because without facing the reality of the damage being done to our planet every single day, how can we ever hope to reverse it?
To find out more about how you can help save our planet, visit the Our Planet website.
You can watch all eight episodes of Our Planet on Netflix now.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).