BBC Mammals viewers 'cry' over 'heartbreaking' scenes of lost seal pups in David Attenborough series

BBC Mammals viewers 'cry' over 'heartbreaking' scenes of lost seal pups in David Attenborough series

WATCH HERE: Trailer for David Attenborough series Mammals

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 21/04/2024

- 20:23

Updated: 21/04/2024

- 21:29

The brutal scenes were shown on the Sunday night series

David Attenborough’s latest series, Mammals, continued on Sunday - and one scene proved very emotional for those tuned in.

The legendary biologist and natural historian had fans transfixed as the programme explored the remarkable adaptability of different mammals.

The fourth episode in the series, titled Cold, delved into the unique physical traits and behaviours of mammals living in some of the coldest parts of the world.

In one heartbreaking part of the episode, Attenborough narrated as newborn seals were left separated from their mothers for the first time.

While most were reunited, the expert shared how some of the mothers are never able to find their babies after leaving them for the first time, and the helpless pups die of starvation after getting lost.

One lost seal could be seen screeching as it looked for comfort but was rejected by a different seal mother.

Seal pup

Mammals viewers were left 'crying' over the scene


"Sadly, not all mothers get it right," Attenborough explained, adding: "Some never find their pups again."

He continued: "Alone and hungry, an abandoned pup understandably seeks comfort.

"But this nearby mother won't share her milk, her priority is her own pup."

The mother could then be seen dismissing the abandoned pup as it cried out and eventually left, alone and weak.


The David Attenborough series is the latest from the legendary biologist and presenter


Fans were "heartbroken" by the scenes, with many admitting they'd become emotional watching the helpless pup lost and dying.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, one person penned: "Omg that’s so sad, this is heartbreaking, all these babies losing their mothers and just dying slowly on the ice whilst crying out for their mothers #mammals."

"I guess it’s just the circle of life but it is really sad," another added, while someone else wrote: "It's too sad."

A fourth shared: "Don't go making me cry now. that little pup looked so lost and sad #mammals."

Seal pup

The young animals didn't survive after getting lost from their mothers


"Switched on the telly hoping for something nice. Got dying seal pups. Unbearably cute seal pups. Abandoned and dying. Thanks, Attenborough. #mammals," another quipped.

"Those pups! #Mammals," one more wrote along with a crying emoji.

Another added: "Nooooo! Poor baby seal pup #Mammals #wildlifephotography." (sic)

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