William Eichler 11 August 2016

Local authority keeps Pokemon Go players at bay

Local authority keeps Pokemon Go players at bay image

A council has secured an agreement to remove Whitney Bay from the Pokemon Go game due to the distress the players were causing the seals.

North Tyneside has reached an understanding with Nintendo to remove St Mary’s Islands off Whitney Bay as a meeting point for the game’s participants because of concern the increased footfall was causing alarm to the animals.

The council said their staff ‘were concerned that the number of people attracted by Pokemon were causing seals to haul back into the sea due to distress.’

Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game released last July. It encourages players to locate, capture, battle, and train Pokemon—virtual creatures—in the real world.

‘This issue is something that we have been working with conservation groups to avoid’, a council spokesperson said.

‘While we recognise that the current Pokemon Go phenomenon provided many people with a lot of pleasure and increased footfall to a number of venues, St. Mary’s Island is an area of natural beauty with significant wildlife.’

‘Our first priority must always be the safety and wellbeing of the seals on the island and in this instance, we feel that other locations would be more appropriate for Pokestops,’ they added.

Photo: Matthew Corley / Shutterstock.com

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