The Paca, known as the gibnut in Belize, is a nocturnal rodent. Inhabiting the forest floor, this solitary animal feeds on fallen fruit, leaves and some tubers dug from the ground. The gibnut is most often found near water and throughout many habitats of Belize, from river valleys to swamps to dense tropical forest.
The gibnut is the most prized game animal of Belize and the Neotropics. They are easily hunted by day with dogs which can sniff out the paca's dens, or during the night with headlamps while they feed. While thriving in Belize's many protected areas, the paca has been hunted to extinction in many parts of its range from Mexico to Southern Brazil.
In many of Belize's protected areas, gibnut can be heard and seen at night. This large rodent makes lots of noise while walking through the dry leaves of the forest or while chewing on the hard shells of the cohune nut, one of its favorite foods. The gibnut also produces a hoarse bark or a deep rumbling when disturbed.