Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

A raccoon named Oreo who was used by director James Gunn as inspiration for the character of Rocket in the original Guardians of the Galaxy film has died. Oreo’s death was announced by a post on the Facebook page of Quinta Layla, a farm in Portugal where the raccoon lived. During the Guardians shoot, Gunn posted a photo of himself with Oreo along with the caption, “I’ve just hired a new gaffer… Chewing on wires is good, right?”

In fact, Oreo was used as a visual reference for the CG character of Rocket, who is voiced by Bradley Cooper. Gunn would later attend the London premiere of Guardians with the raccoon on his shoulder.

“We have only the saddest news today,” begins the Quinto Layla post. “Our hearts are broken as we have lost our best friend, our Guardian of our Galaxy Mr Oreo Raccoon. Oreo passed away in the early hours of this morning after a very short illness. Many thanks to our wonderful vets for their compassion and care.”

“Oreo you made so many people’s lives happy,” the statement continues. “You have been an amazing ambassador for raccoons everywhere. You loved all people of all ages and other animals too and were never phased by anything be it a walk down the red carpet as Rocket Raccoon, a trip to a hospice to visit a sick child or anything else that came your way. You just enjoyed everything and it showed. You instinctively knew when to calm, when to be bouncy and we never worried that you would do the wrong thing because you never did. You were perfect.”

You can see footage of the little critter, who was ten years old, in behind the scenes footage from the first installment of the Marvel production here.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 122 minutes
  • James Gunn