Real Rocket Raccoon

The bounty hunting, wisecracking Rocket Raccoon is brought to life through digital animation in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. But there’s a real life raccoon who inspired the trash panda that Marvel fans love so much. His name is Oreo, and we’re sorry to inform you that the little critter has passed away at 10 years old.

Oreo the raccoon’s owner Quinta Layla posted the sad news on Facebook with a bunch of adorable pictures of the little guy. They also wrote a heartfelt goodbye to their furry friend:

“Oreo you made so many people‚Äôs lives happy. 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.”

Oreo passed away after a short illness that made him miserable for a few days. But he lived a life longer than most raccoons, which is impressive since he started out life with difficulty. According to CNET, Oreo’s mother didn’t have a milk supply for him and the rest of her babies, so he had to be bottle fed. It wasn’t easy, but Oreo grew up and became a lovely companion.

Though the raccoon wasn’t on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy, Oreo was the animal used for reference by animators in creating the look and movement of Rocket Raccoon. He became quite the famous raccoon since James Gunn famously walked the red carpet with Oreo. In fact, you can check out some of Oreo’s interaction behind the scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy right here in this little featurette:

We’ll next see the superhero inspired by Oreo in Avengers: Endgame, hitting theaters on April 26, 2019. Hopefully there will be a little tribute to the critter somewhere in the credits.

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