'Pokémon GO' Players Save Real Wildlife Amidst PETA's Animal Rights Concern
With the Pokemon GO craze taking over the world, reports say that players do not only catch Pokemon but are also saving real-life wildlife while playing the game. This is despite PETA's allegations of animal rights.
Fictional Dratini to Real-Life Baby Bat
In a report from Atlas Obscura, Olivia Case from Spencer, New York accidentally rescued a real-life baby bat while trying to catch a rare blue dragon-type Pokemon called Dratini.
Spencer recalled that she drove to a laundromat in their area with her three-year-old daughter to catch the rare Dratini when they found a baby bat wriggling in front of the building in a bright light. Case moved the animal to a darker spot in order for it to be able to move.
"I went around to look for the Pokémon and I came back about 45 minutes later and he was still there. He hadn't moved," Case said, adding that she called Cornell Animal Hospital for help.
A Box of Abandoned Baby Hamsters and Mice
Meanwhile, in South Houston, Texas, Sara Perez and Matthew Teague were playing Pokemon GO in a park when they spotted an odd-looking box, Beyond Skin reports. When they opened it, the two were surprised to discover a cage of 20 hamsters and seven baby mice.
Perez said that the animals were sweltering due to the heat and were left without any food.
“We were just surprised and confused, and we looked around the park and called out to see if anyone was there, but there was no one. I had my friend [Matthew] pick up the box and we carried it to my house, and we set them on our table and just gave them clean water and fresh food and bedding," Perez recalled.
Animal Saving a Growing Trend on Pokemon GO
The Cornell Animal Hospital reported that they have received a number of saved animals from Pokemon GO players over the past weeks, including rabbits, an opossum, a screech owl and a baby squirrel.
"The whole 'Gotta Catch 'Em All,' it's great! This is pretty much the first time I've seen something like this," said Victoria Campbell, owner of Wild Things Sanctuary in Ithaca, New York.
PETA Urges Players for Animal Awareness
In a blog post, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said that capturing or catching Pokemons, though virtually, is not much different from "taking animals out of the wild and putting them in zoos, circuses, and other places that exploit and abuse them."
In an effort to raise awareness, PETA has made its Los Angeles office a "safe Pokemon zone" where no Pokemon could be captured.
"It would be wonderful if Nintendo could leverage the passion that people have for fictional Pokémon to help real-life captive animals, such as the orcas imprisoned at SeaWorld or the tigers who live behind bars in the Ringling Bros. circus," the animal rights organization wrote.