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A Frequently Encountered Raccoon Is Finally Identified As Being A Unique Addition To The Raccoon Family | New Jersey Animal Removal Experts

Filed under: New Jersey Animal Removal Experts — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:26 am March 9, 2017

A Frequently Encountered Raccoon Is Finally Identified As Being A Unique Addition To The Raccoon Family | New Jersey Animal Removal Experts

According to the curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Kristofer Helgen, a new species of carnivorous raccoon has been discovered.  This is an extremely unique find as it has been widely assumed that all mammalian species residing within North America had been identified. This member of the raccoon family is the first carnivore to be discovered within the western hemisphere in thirty years.

The raccoon-like mammal, which is known as an Olinguito, is reportedly very cute. It has large brown eyes, a fluffy coat a big bushy tail and it is often mistaken for a teddy bear. What is remarkable about this particular finding is that this interesting, and rarely seen mammal was not “discovered” in the true sense of the word, in fact the animal has been spotted numerous times, but the Olinguito is quite similar looking to a similar sounding animal called the Olingo. As a result of this mix up the Olinguito has only recently been identified.

Although Helgen, the Smithsonian’s curator, is being officially credited with the Olinguito discovery, the animal is a staple of the region in which it is found and the Olinguito’s existence has not been a mystery to certain groups of people for centuries. In fact, the Olinguito have been evolving as their own independent species for the past three to four million years, which is a whole lot longer than our stay on this planet. In addition to that, an Olinguito has even found its way to America before.

In 1967 an Olinguito was captured in the Colombian mountains and forcibly brought to the United State in order to be showcased in the most popular American Zoos. So the Olinguito is no stranger to people, and Americans at the time probably assumed that the animal was related to a raccoon, which would be correct. I just hope Helgin doesn’t brag about being the first to discover the Olinguito.

Had you ever heard of an Olinguito? Have you ever seen a species of raccoon that you did not recognize? If so, do you ever learn what species the raccoon the belonged to?