New (Adorable!) Mammal Species Found in Ecuador & Colombia

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Researchers announced Thursday a rare discovery of a new mammal species called the olinguito. And its teddy bear face makes it instantly adorable.

The raccoon-sized critter leaps through the trees of mountainous forests of Ecuador and Colombia, but it shouldn't have been too hard to find — one of them lived in the Smithsonian-run National Zoo in the Washington for a year.

"It's been kind of hiding in plain sight for a long time" despite its extraordinary beauty, said Kristofer Helgen, the Smithsonian's curator of mammals.

The zoo's little critter, named Ringerl, was mistaken for a sister species, the olingo. Ringerl was shipped from zoo to zoo from 1967 to 1976: Louisville, Ky., Tucson, Ariz., Salt Lake City, Washington and New York City to try to get it to breed with other olingos.

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