Olinguito - Photo Credit: Mark Gurney
In the cloud forests of Ecuador, scientists have “discovered” the olinguito, the first new carnivore species reported in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is a century-old case of missed connections. The furry, 2-lb. animal resembles its fellow olingos, which are sometimes called “cat monkeys” because they look like house cats with long tails. But the orange-brown olinguito eluded classification by scientists for more than 100 years, despite being observed in the wild, ending up in museum collections and even being exhibited at the Louisville Zoo, the National Zoo and the Bronx Zoo in the 1960s and 1970s, according to a statement from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.