Update: Niantic has denied having any involvement in Articuno’s appearance, suggesting that “it’s either a spoof or someone hacked the game.”
Original: Articuno has appeared in Pokémon GO, revealed after a player requested help defending a PokéGym that she had placed it at.
The first of the Legendary Birds was shared on the Dayton Area Pokémon GO! Facebook group by Kaitlyn Covey, who had placed it at the PokéGym based at Eagle Bais On Field & Stream. Asked as to where she captured it, Covey replied: “Niantic gifted me with him. It is simply the truth!”
Articuno’s existence was soon corroborated by Reddit, where users discovered Covey’s capture at the Masonic Temple PokéGym.
“I’m not denying that it’s not weird! I’m just ready for Niantic to verify it!” Covey wrote in response to claims that it was fake. “I have no idea why I was chosen or even given it!…but I got an email from them saying they were giving me one…checked my Pokédex and he was right there!”
Then, another user later spotted that Team Instinct had their own Articuno, at a separate location. There is speculation that the Legendary Bird’s appearance may have been the result of a glitch, where an encountered Pokémon isn’t the same as the one caught by the player. Or, that it is a simple texture swap.