Cute new critter found in South American forests
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A lap-sized critter that looks like a mix between a cat and a teddy bear was unveiled on Thursday as the first new carnivore identified in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
Scientists say the olinguito has actually been around for ages, in zoos, museums and in the forests of Ecuador and Colombia, but was mistaken for its larger cousin, the olingo.
A big clue that this tree-crawling animal was something unusual was that it never wanted to breed with the olingo, experts said.
The new species, named Bassaricyon neblina, is now understood to be the smallest member of the same family as raccoons, kinkajous and olingos.