The fictional Dr. Timothy Darrow in the Animal Planet mockumentary Cannibal in the Jungle.

The Cannibal in the Jungle

Just so you are aware, the Animal Planet show Cannibal in the Jungle, which premiered Sunday during Monster Week, is not real.

Animal Planet’s “The Cannibal in the Jungle” was the premier show during monster week in 2015… so was The Cannibal in the Jungle a True Story? Did Timothy Darrow eat those people? Are there really cannibal hobbit men on the Indonesian Island of Flores???

TV Movie Description

The Cannibal in the Jungle is a fictional story about a 1977 expedition into the Indonesian jungle that’s beset by a cannibalistic tribe, and the resulting court case questioning explorer Timothy Darrow’s account of the events.

Considering that The Cannibal in the Jungle is among the company of Animal Planet’s Monster Week masterpieces like Serial Killer Tiger At Large, it’s easy to question whether or not The Cannibal in the Jungle is based on a true, factual, story. Well, I hate to break it to you but The Cannibal in the Jungle is a fictional story made up of a bunch of different scientific facts. The Cannibal in the Jungle is not based on anything… it is not based on any kind of similar event or person. Instead it seems somebody at Animal Planet went “what if… what if these little hobbit men (Homo floresiensis) was actually a cannibal”. They spun a story for your enjoyment and advertising dollars.


It is not based on true events or people, but rather a mish mash of various scientific facts (that are actually featured in various other TV shows and still provide for vehement debate among scientists). There was no cannibal in that Jungle. There are no little hobbit men going to chase you down and eat you. If you’ve read anything from J.R.R. Tolkien, you know the Hobbits are way too peaceful to be doing that.

THE CANNIBAL IN THE JUNGLE follows the story of an American scientist who was convicted of killing and cannibalizing two colleagues in the jungles of Flores, Indonesia in 1977.

Branded “The American Cannibal” by the press during his trial, Dr. Timothy Darrow defended himself by claiming a mythic human-ape creature was responsible for the murders.


Dr Timothy Darrow is complete fiction. He never existed. Homo Floresiensis however (the little cannibal people in the show) is a very real part of our ancestry.

Homo Floresiensis really was a “hobbit” human like species whose remains have been found on the Indonesian Island of Flores.

Homo floresiensis (“Flores Man“; nicknamed “hobbit” and “Flo”) is widely believed to be an extinct species in the genus Homo. The remains of an individual that would have stood about 3.5 feet (1.1 m) in height were discovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete skull… Read More:


Ultimately it was what you could expect from a mockumentary. Kind of boring, sensational, but with an obvious attempt to make it exciting. Considering so much of it was fictional, it was quite elaborate. The level of detail the thought out for this show really was surprising. With most mockumentaries the level of detail is pretty low.


The Cannibal in the Jungle is definitely not safe for little kids, and for those of you sensitive to gore and gross things like cannibalism… stay away from this show, obviously.


Below is the trailer for Cannibal in the Jungle.

Creative Commons License
The Cannibal in the Jungle by Jordan Wunderlich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

12 thoughts on “ The Cannibal in the Jungle

  1. The Cannibal in the Jungle, while still not making it clear it is fictional, still did a lot better job explaining it wasn’t real than Discovery’s Megalodon did. That was quite messed up for Discovery to do… and then to treat it like a joke and like people were stupid to believe them anyways…

  2. animal planet has accomplished and promoted an Indonesian tourist attraction. Just gimme some truth.

    1. I hear Flores is nice to begin with though! So maybe morally from Animal Planet’s view they’re doing us a favor!!! hahaha

  3. Guess I am an idiot. I thought it was real. I haven’t watched their other shows on Monster Week. I think it would be as important to indicate that it was a fictional account as it was to give a warning that it was not appropriate for children.

    1. They make us all feel like idiots when they do that.
      I don’t know why they’re so obsessed with NOT clearly stating these mockumentaries aren’t real…

    2. I agree. It was quite believable and warranted a search for authenticity, in my case.

  4. Once again the discovery channel family has disappointed me. First is was the mermaids, then the megaladon, now the cannibal hobbit men. I have lost all respect for this company and is subsidiaries. TO treat us like we are idiots is just wrong. If I wanted to watch a story I would have turned on HBO or something like that. Shame on the discovery channel.

    1. It’s pretty offensive isn’t it… they get your hopes up because they never bother to tell you it’s a fake documentary and then *smash* your dreams of a massive shark still being alive are smashed

  5. Probably never gonna watch discovery channel again! I love to watch real documentaries on animals and they suckkkk!

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