Earlier this week, a Pokémon GO trainer claimed to have found the first Articuno at a gym in Ohio. Others confirmed the sighting, seeing it in person and claiming that it couldn’t possibly be a Photoshop hoax. And now, Niantic has confirmed that the bird was indeed real, but it shouldn’t have been there.
In an official statement, Niantic admits that the legendary Pokémon found its way into the game and has since been stripped from those players’ accounts.
We recently noticed that a few Legendary Pokémon got into a few accounts when they shouldn’t have. To preserve the game’s integrity and as a measure of fairness, we have rectified the situation and revoked the legendary Pokémon from the trainers’ accounts.
So yes, the footage wasn’t faked as some people suggested, but the game appears to have been hacked at some point. Niantic stopped short of using the “h” word. It also denied that it sent the bird as a gift, which the captor originally claimed it did. The trainer showed off his legendary prize on livestream accounts as well as the email he claimed the Articuno came in.
A misspelling of “Articundo” in the email raised a lot of suspicions.
The possibility is out there that the bird was honestly caught via a glitch as well, but seeing that the captor’s story and Niantic’s statements don’t match, not a lot of credibility can be given to that angle. Nobody knows, but the point is, the bird should not have been there. Don’t go out into the wild with the misplaced hopes of finding one.