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Oreo the raccoon: Guardians of the Galaxy model dies aged 10

Oreo the raccoon and director James Gunn Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Oreo accompanied the film's director to its red carpet premiere

Oreo the raccoon, the real-life model for Guardians of the Galaxy character Rocket, has died aged 10.

The news was announced on the comic book superhero team's Facebook page.

"Oreo passed away in the early hours of this morning after a very short illness," it reads. "Many thanks to our wonderful vets for their compassion and care."

Rocket the raccoon was voiced by Bradley Cooper in the 2014 film and its 2017 sequel.

Oreo died after a short illness early on Thursday morning, the Facebook post says.

"You have been an amazing ambassador for raccoons everywhere," it reads. "You were perfect."

Oreo accompanied the film's director, James Gunn to the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere.

Disney fired Mr Gunn as director of the planned third Guardians film over offensive social media posts - but the cast backed him and he is reportedly working on another superhero film script.

The character Rocket first appeared in a 1976 Marvel comic book, and was named after The Beatles song Rocky Raccoon.

Mr Cooper also voiced the role in the Avengers: Infinity War film and its upcoming sequel, Avengers: Endgame.

Actor Sean Gunn - brother of James - provided the motion capture performance for the character, while Rocket's physical characteristics in the films are based on Oreo's.

Tributes poured in for the raccoon on social media.

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