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Meet the 'Olinguito' - the newest mammal discovery

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Meet the 'Olinguito' - the newest mammal discovery


An animal, said to resemble a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, is the newest mammal and first carnivore to be discovered in the Americas in 35 years – according to experts.

The ‘Olinguito’ is the smallest member of the raccoon family and is native to high altitude forests in Colombia and Ecuador.

“We haven’t been able to find anyone that knows about this animal. We haven’t been able to find native names for it, that’s why we used the term ‘Olinguito,’” said zoologist Kristofer Helgen, from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

“Most of the people we’ve been able to discuss this with… don’t necessarily even distinguish Kinkajous, Olingos and Olinguitos and sometimes not even from some of the primates that are out there,” he continued.

It is not easy spotting one of the long-tailed, furry animals. Olinguitos only come out at night – and spend most of their time in the forest canopy.

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