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WASHINGTON -- Imagine a mini-raccoon with a teddy bear face that is so cute it s hard to resist, let alone overlook. But somehow science did until now.

Researchers announced Thursday a rare discovery of a new species of mammal called the olinguito. The reddish-brown animal is about 2 feet long with a long tail and weighs about 2 pounds.

It belongs to a grouping of large creatures that include dogs, cats and bears.

The critter leaps through the trees of mountainous forests of Ecuador and Colombia at night, according to a Smithsonian researcher who has spent the past decade tracking them.

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