Update: Geek.com reached out to Niantic for a comment, and according to what the PR representative for the developer had to say, the Articuno “was not from Niantic. it’s either a spoof or someone hacked the game,” but added that the company was still looking into it and there aren’t any clear answers at the moment.
Original Story: Multiple people have spotted and provided screenshots showing one of the Legendary birds, Articuno, in a Gym and the Internet has been going nuts trying to figure out what’s going on.
Numerous Pokémon GO players have recently spotted an Articuno at a Gym. While we haven’t heard anything from Niantic, we can’t prove that it is real, but there’s been plenty of proof from the players, showing that it’s more than a rumor.
According to the owner of the Articuno, she received Articuno as some sort of “apology” from Niantic:
“Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds! I was simply gifted a Articuno by Niantic – everything about it is legit! I really hope Niantic sees all the hype around this and confirms its legitimacy! All I can say is that it is obviously a promo Poke to stir up hype, and that happened in no time! I had Articuno in a gym tonight, but it just got beat! It is not unbeatable, thats for sure! Just super awesome….! It is what it is! Go Team Mystic!”
“I have no idea why Niantic decided to give me an Articuno, but I surely do have one! Pretty amazing and I can’t wait for Niantic to confirm its legitimacy, but it doesn’t really matter…it can’t be fake when people are battling it in a gym! It is what it is!…and it was obviously a promo to stir up hype, and it obviously has done that in no time at all!…and it wasn’t b/c of a ‘late response’… i had emailed them with a question on day 1 of release and they just emailed me back tonight stating they were gifting me with it!..and i’ll be darned – it was right there in my pokedex!”
Another player also claims to have received a Moltres in a similar fashion, but we haven’t seen nearly as much evidence on that so far. In any case, we should take this with a grain of salt for the time being until we hear official word from Niantic. Another thing worth keeping in mind is that the latest update to Pokémon GO contains a glitch where you could catch a Pokémon, but it turns out being another one instead. For example, you could catch a Pidgey, but end up with a Ratatta.
For those of you that are curious, the Articuno is currently at a Gym near 1355 E 2nd St Franklin, OH 45005.
Pokémon GO is currently available for Android and iPhone.