US director James Gunn (R) and a racoon attend the European premiere of the film, Guardians of the Galaxy in central London on July 24, 2014. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Oreo the Raccoon, Inspiration for Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket, Passes Away

Sad news in the world of Marvel as Oreo the Raccoon, the animal that served as the visual inspiration for everyone’s favorite pint-sized hero Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, has passed away after dealing with a short illness.

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The news was announced via the official Facebook page (h/t The Wrap) of the animal sanctuary he called home at the time.

“Our hearts are broken as we have lost our best friend, our Guardian of our Galaxy Mr Oreo Raccoon,” the organization wrote. “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….Have fun up there over the Rainbow Bridge my darling. I hope, no I know they will all love you as much as we do. We will miss you so, so much.”

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Oreo helped the special effects animators capture the “motions and behaviors for Rocket,” the Guardians hero, voiced by Bradley Cooper and last seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Rocket was created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen for Marvel in 1976.