Yesterday, as you might’ve heard, the world was introduced to a new species of carnivorous mammal called the olinguito. Then, we, the human population, suffered a cute attack. Olinguitos are tiny, their faces looks like teddy bears’, their name rhymes with “mojito.” They eat a lot of figs. They’re practically a figment of Lisa Frank’s imagination, living in the clouds (technically, “cloud forests”), adorably shy and misunderstood until Smithsonian researcher Kristofer Helgen realized we had been confusing their close relatives, the olingos, as little olinguitos all this time. Our bad.
“It looks kind of like a fuzzball,” Helgen said. Hopefully, we made it up to the olinguito yesterday as Twitter produced at least five parody accounts almost instantly (this one‘s my favorite) while the rest of the Internet responded to a fruit-loving teddy bear-fuzzball dwelling high in the trees and tolerating a case of mistaken identity as only it can. Allow the Internet to paint us a picture, ignoring for a moment those horribly sinister-looking claws:
“a carnivore that eats fruit?” - CBS 6 Albany
“It sort of bounced around the trees almost like a monkey, eating the figs.” – North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences zoologist Roland Kays via USA Today
“an absolute teddy bear” – Scientific American
“long, flowing, luxurious fur, soft to the touch” – Kristofer Helge via NBC Washington
“His little nose. His gold-dappled fuzzy hair. His inquisitive, yet welcoming eyes.” – RELEVANT Magazine
“smallest member of the raccoon family” – BBC News
“smallest living member of the family Procyonidae” via ZooKeys
“less than a kilogram” – via CBC News
“shorter tails, a rounder face, tinier ears” – Associated Press via Huffington Post
“red, furry creatures [scampering] through the trees of the Andean cloud forests” – Smithsonian Magazine
“a new and charismatic animal” – Helgen via BuzzFeed
“distractingly delightful mammal with stylish fur and an energetic attitude” – Gawker
“the cronut of the animal kingdom” – Refinery 29
“the Teddycat” – Jezebel
“a muskrat crossed with my nightmares” – Jezebel commenter BerkRie
“a weecat,” that is, a weasel-cat hybrid – Jezebel commenter SL8Rgirl81
“your new favorite species” – Salon.com via Twitter
“new best friend” – RELEVANT Magazine
“brand new” – BuzzFeed
“a glorious case of mistaken identity” – Helgen via The Guardian
Here it is in stuffed animal form already:
- Photo c/o Smithsonian
Ahhh, look at its face!
- Photo c/o Smithsonian
- At yesterday’s press conference.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.