Fans have been on the lookout for rare and legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Go since the augmented reality game’s launch last month. While there have been a couple of false starts along the way, some fans are now claiming they’ve obtained one of the legendary birds in the original games—and they have proof.
A now-deleted Reddit post with screenshots reported multiple instances of legendary bird Articuno holding a gym. Another person claimed in a local Facebook group that Articuno took over a gym in Ohio and offered video of the legendary bird to prove that it was real.
According to katecovey, the person who owns the Articuno, she received the Pokémon as a gift from Niantic as an apology after she reached out to the company regarding an issue with the game. In the past few days, Pokémon Go went through a series of major updates to make cheating harder, but the updates caused many accounts to reset by accident. However, when asked to provide proof that the email from Niantic existed, katecovey appeared evasive.
Some Pokémon Go users believe that the sudden presence of Articuno in the game is the result of a glitch or a hack that makes different Pokémon appear than the ones you’ve captured. Certain apps will allow you to change the skins of Pokémon within the game, and it’s easier than ever to make it appear that you’ve captured or are about to capture rare and legendary Pokémon.
At San Diego Comic-Con last month, the creators teased that they’d release rare Pokémon during special events but offered no hints on when those events would occur.
Update 2:21pm CT, Aug. 2: In a 26-minute video streamed on Twitch, the people who claimed to have been gifted an Articuno by Niantic showed the email that other players demanded to see. They show what looks to be Articuno counted among their collection of Pokémon in both the Android and iOS versions of Pokémon Go and activated sound effects when clicking on it.
The email shown in the live stream, which appears to come from an email address with a NianticLabs.com domain, reads:
We are sorry about your Pidgeot! We thought by now you might have another so we gave you an Articundo[sp].
Go Team Mystic,Rep the squad,Niantic