New Carnivore Species Found in Western Hemisphere
The drawer contained what was thought to be olingo skulls and skins. The olingo is a raccoon-like creature native to Central and South America. Kristofer Helgen, a mammalogist, noted that one of the creatures in the drawer was not like the others and has been working to establish it as a new species since opening the drawer in 2003.
The olinguito is similar to the olingo, but a bit redder in color with longer fur. The discovery of this new carnivorous mammal was officially announced on August 15 and the skin and skull are on display in the museum along with the skin and skull of an olingo for comparison. Helgen has been traveling the world, visiting other museums and collecting DNA samples in order to prove the existence of the separate species. He also visited Ecuador where he found an olinguito in the wild.