August 26, 2014 2.51 pm This story is over 116 months old

Rocket Racoon and other exotic pets visit Lincoln

Exciting exotics: A range of interesting animals visited a Lincoln pet store as part of fun day, including a famous racoon.

The racoon that stared in Guardians of the Galaxy visited Lincoln on August 26, taking part in a meet and greet at the JC Exotics pet shop on Monks Road.

The world famous racoon named Oreo has been on the red carpet with director James Gunn, and has even had fans from Australia visit him.

Oreo and a host of other exotic animals including an armadillo and a fennec fox were brought to the Lincoln store as part of a tour by exotic awareness group Oreo and Friends.

Animals present included Pika the fennec fox, Obi the kinkajou, Sherman the armadillo, Pepper the fox and Shini the tanuki.

Children were allowed to handle and feed the animals, or have their photos taken with the creatures, whilst also taking part in fun activities.

The organisation was formed by husband and wife duo John and Sallie Bent, and they have been touring the country with their exotic animals for several years.

Sallie said: “We want to promote the awareness of exotic animals, these animals will be in more fashion for future generations. We want to make people more aware of what they might be taking on.”

Sallie added she has had one hectic year taking care of the celebrity racoon Oreo.

“Film researchers were looking for a racoon to star as Rocket Racoon in the Marvel film and they wanted a racoon that was brown not grey (a very specific species) as they wanted him to look young,” she explained.

“They first filmed him and took pictures, they then took him to see the 250 animators that worked on the film. After that they based Rocket off of him.

“Director James Gunn is a good friend and has seen Oreo on a number of occasions. He even went on the red carpet with him at the movie premiere in London!”

Oreo, who is now five-years-old, didn’t always have the celebrity life. At birth, he had a slim chance of survival but thankfully made it through.

“He was hand-reared as his mother wouldn’t produce enough milk. But day after day Oreo continued to defy the odds and before long he was out of the woods.”