By Tom Herbert, The Evening Standard
Seven Worlds, One Planet viewers have been left heartbroken after the show documented the victims of the global ivory trade.
The final episode of Sir David Attenborough’s latest series showed how elephants and rhinos are now fighting for survival as a result of the worldwide demand for ivory.
It detailed how both species are at risk of extinction as poachers hunt the last few animals that are left in the wild for their sought-after tusks and horns.
Mountains of elephant tusks are seen piled high in one heartbreaking scene, documenting the sheer scale of animals killed for their ivory.
“Elephants have used their great intelligence to help them survive Africa’s driest times for millennia, but today they face an even greater threat,” Attenborough said. “It’s thought that as many as 20 million elephants once roamed the continent, but many have been killed for their tusks, their ivory used for entirely ornamental purposes. Now just 350,000 elephants remain.”
In another scene, Attenborough stands alongside two northern white rhinos to reveal they are the last of their kind, and since they are both female, are also the last ever. He said: “When they die, an entire sub-species who inhabited the earth for millions of years would have disappeared forever.”
The utterly heartbreaking episode left viewers outraged as they hit out at humans’ destructive nature and the effect humanity has on other species.
One viewer wrote online: “I’m not going to lie, the last line delivered by Sir David Attenborough whilst standing alongside the last two remaining female white rhinoceros made me well up. It’s so overwhelmingly obvious the planet is in crisis #SevenWorldsOnePlanet.”
While another tweeted: “SevenWorldsOnePlanet really brings it home that this planet doesn’t solely belong to us, gotta do better to protect it & wildlife. Will be so devastating if wildlife become extinct in our lifetimes. Don’t want to tell my kids one day that X animal used to exist 10 years ago.”
“I cannot understand how people want to buy ivory? Why would you kill a beautiful innocent creature just for ivory!? And please don’t reply money. It’s absolutely disgusting. How can this be outlawed forever? #SevenWorldsOnePlanet,” a third wrote.