Agouti a.k.a. Gibnut Pictures
Jungle Hike at Lower Dover
Early this morning we witnessed a rather large gibnut eating seeds from the Guanacaste tree near the edge of the deciduous rain forest at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge. We were giving a tour of the Maya ruins and medicinal plant trail when this bush meat delicacy stepped across the jungle path.
When Queen Elizabeth II famously visited Belize during her tour of the country in 1985 Gibnut was the main course. Today some in the country still call it the “royal rat” because of this. Still agouti meat is prized by hunters and the animal is threatened for that very reason.
Gibnuts enjoy the 100 acres of jungle habitat at Lower Dover because of the abundance in food and direct access to water on three sides. It is not uncommon to see evidence of paca (as it is known in the rest of the world) surrounding the forest floor. Their primary food source here is the Cohune Palm nut, which is very rich in oil content. This is one main reason for the unique and sought after taste for special Belizean occasions. We only shoot with cameras at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge so you will never taste it here, but ask around in local circles and they are sure to point you in the right direction depending on how badly you want it…
Lower Dover Field Journal