About the Film

posted: 05/13/15


The two-hour scripted feature 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.

Animal Planet's dramatic story is an imaginative leap inspired by real science. In 2004, a study in the journal Nature announced the discovery of bones of an entirely new, remarkable species of humans that once lived in the jungles of Flores, Indonesia. Fully grown adults stood only three feet tall, yet they were able to thrive in the chaotic and dangerous world that surrounded them. The new species was nicknamed "Hobbits," after J.R.R. Tolkien's diminutive heroes. These real hobbits are purported to have lived less than 20,000 years ago, which would make them the last other species of human to live alongside ourselves.

But did hobbits really go extinct? 60 Minutes sent a film crew to investigate the Nature article. The news outlet documented an indigenous tribe on Flores, the very same island where the hobbit remains were discovered, which had its own accounts of little wild men that stood just over three feet tall, climbed trees, walked on two feet and thrived on cannibalism. And according to the local legend, those creatures may never have died out at all ... Animal Planet's scripted film THE CANNIBAL IN THE JUNGLE follows an expedition team deep into the heart of Flores Island to investigate Dr. Timothy Darrow's claims and find out once and for all if hobbits still exist in the deepest, most remote realms of the Indonesian jungle.

THE CANNIBAL IN THE JUNGLE premiered Sunday, May 24, 2015 9/8c on Animal Planet. Check our TV schedule for encore airings.


A Family Tree: "Hobbits" and Our Human Ancestry >>

The Cannibal In the Jungle: When Cultural Memories Meet Science >>

Cannibalism: A History of People Who Eat People >>

Animals Too Strange to Be Believed >>

Eight Surprising Animal Cannibals >>

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Cannibal In The Jungle