Pokémon Go Players Save Animals in the Real World

While tracking rare virtual creatures to remote locations, some players find and rescue animals in distress.


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Some Pokémon Go players tracking rare virtual creatures with their smartphones in the physical world have unexpectedly stumbled upon actual creatures—abused, abandoned, and injured animals—urgently in need of help. As more people play the popular augmented reality video game, more animal rescue stories are being reported. In one case, a Spencer, NY woman searching for a dragon-like Dratini found an immobilized baby bat during the daytime on a sidewalk. She called Cornell Animal Hospital, which has taken in a number of animals saved by Pokémon Go players, including rabbits, an opossum, a screech owl, and a baby squirrel. In another case, a pair of South Houston, TX players tracked some Pokémon into a park, where they found a cage containing 20 hamsters and seven baby mice sweltering in the summer heat with no food or water. All 27 of the rescued rodents have survived, and some have been adopted. And in Lufkin, TX, two Pokémon Go players looking for a Jigglypuff instead found an abandoned puppy with a broken leg. A pizza delivery driver who was recently certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) helped stabilize the puppy and drove him to a veterinary hospital. The puppy, named Pokey, has recovered and is in a foster home.

Photo courtesy of Pokémon Go