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'A Life On Our Planet' Viewers In Tears Over Heartbreaking Clip Of Orangutans Left Homeless Following Deforestation

'A Life On Our Planet' Viewers In Tears Over Heartbreaking Clip Of Orangutans Left Homeless Following Deforestation

Sir David Attenborough's new doc is certainly a powerful watch.

Lucy Devine

Lucy Devine

Netflix viewers were left sobbing at their TV screens yesterday as they settled down to watch Sir David Attenborough's A Life On Our Planet documentary.

Sir David's new doc dropped yesterday (

The programme dropped on the streaming platform yesterday, and viewers have described it as a "heartbreaking and devastating" watch, with one scene in particular proving to be especially distressing.

At one point in the doc, Sir David, 94, discusses the devastating impact that deforestation is having on the planet and the species that live within the Borneo rainforests.

Over decades, much of the rainforest has been replaced with oil palms, creating a shocking and unsustainable impact on the wildlife that live there.

David explains that, shockingly, over half of the world's rainforests have been cleared to make room for oil palms - which equates to three trillion trees.

You can watch the clip below:

"Many of the millions of species in the forests exist in small numbers. Every one has a critical role to play," David begins.

"Orangutan mothers have to spend 10 years with their young, teaching them which fruits are worth eating. Without this training, they would not complete their role in dispersing seeds. The future generations of many tree species would be at risk.

"And tree diversity is the key to a rainforest. In a single small patch of tropical rainforest there could be 700 different species of tree, as many as there are in the whole of north America.

Viewers were devastated at the images of the homeless orangutans (

"And yet this is what we've been turning this dizzying diversity into - a monoculture of oil palm, a habitat that is dead in comparison."

David explained that if you were to look down at the rainforest from a helicopter, you would see a strip of rainforest just half a mile wide, explaining that "beyond that strip there is nothing but regimented rows of oil palms".

It truly is a devastating sight...

'Regimented rows of oil palms' have replaced much of the rainforest (

The heartbreaking documentary went on to show some footage of a number of trees being callously cut down, as well as devastating images of orangutans left homeless, climbing bare, lifeless trunks and scrambling through chopped down branches and shrubbery.

"The deforestation of Borneo has reduced the population or orangutan by two thirds since I first saw one over 60 years ago," David continued.

"We can't cut down rainforests forever and anything that we can't do forever is by definition unsustainable. If we do things that are unsustainable then the damage accumulates ultimately to the point where it all collapses."

Sir David explained how deforestation is not a sustainable option (

And it seems viewers were completely taken aback by the scenes, with several taking to Twitter to express their heartache over the images.

One person tweeted: "The deforestation scenes in A Life On Our Planet makes me f***ing sob. Trees and plants are the coolest things on this planet. How dare we."

While another said: "The scenes of his documentary, 'A Life On Our Planet' is heartbreaking, showing orangutans frolicking & swinging through the rainforest in Borneo before, followed by no forest & a single orangutan struggling to clamor up a branchless tree trunk".

The images shown were utterly heartbreaking (

Hundreds agreed that the documentary was an emotional watch. One person added: "Finished watching David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet and I'm crying like a baby."

While another tweeted: "I'm watching David Attenborough's A Life On Our Planet and I'm crying so much I had to change my shirt."

If you're yet to see Sir David's new doc, it's an essential watch. You can catch it on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: TV News