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New Species

Meet the olinguito: New mammal species wrongly identified for 100 years

It is the first New World carnivore to be identified in 35 years.

IN A RARE discovery, researchers have found a new species of mammal.

It’s a raccoon-sized creature with a teddy bear face and brown-orange fur called the olinguito (pronounced: oh-lihn-GEE-toe).

One of them once lived right under researchers’ noses at the National Zoo in Washington but it was mistaken for a similar animal.

The olinguito can be found in the mountainous forests of Ecuador and Colombia where it leaps through the trees at night. It eats mostly fruit and weighs about two pounds, but because it eats meat too, it can be considered a facultative carnivore.

It is the first New World carnivore to be identified in 35 years.

(Both images AP Photo/Mark Gurney)

- Additional reporting AP

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