Since the day that the game first launched, tales of new friendships and personal development thanks to Pokémon Go have inspired many and served as a beacon in the darkness of the daily news cycle. The way the game is played has already caused a surge of adoptions at certain pet shelters, and now, it looks like local wildlife is starting to benefit as well.
Several reports of trainers stumbling across wild or stray animals in need have begun to sprout up as of recent. The game prompts players to make their way out to stock up at local PokéStops and take out gyms located at major landmarks. In several reported cases, many players happened to be at the right place at the right time to help an injured or lost animal, which might not have happened if the game didn’t require them to explore.
One heartwarming example comes from Orlando, Florida, where Carey Burns found a special kind of starter Pokemon in the form of a gray and white kitten. Burns told the Huffington Post that she had just started the game and walked outside when it happened. “I heard this noise, it sounded almost like a bird,” said Burns. “I followed the noise and there was this little kitten sitting there on the ground, and her leg was out at a weird angle.” Casey is now fostering the kitten, nicknamed Mewtwo, who suffered a fractured pelvis and a dislocated hip after she fell out of a tree, Burns believes.
Along with strays, players have come across a few wild animals as well, and helped the little critters on their way back to health. Olivia Case and her daughter were out hunting for Pokemon when they came across a baby bat in need. Rightly nicknamed Zubat, the little bat was too sick and injured to fly off on its own, so Case called the Cornell Animal Hospital in New York. “If I wasn’t playing, then I would have never found him,” she told Atlas Obscura. “So I’m really happy that I’m so addicted to this game.” Even though Case and her daughter were out hunting Dratini, their ultimate find was what mattered the most.
Photos via Getty Images / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images / Lam Yik Fei