You've probably heard of Pokemon Go by now. It's a game that has exploded in popularity across the nation. The mobile app is leading to a surge of visitors to some places, and you can find someone playing Pokemon Go at Chehaw.
This game is getting folks out and about, encouraging them to interact with other players. Park employees say they're excited about the game, but they are being cautious.
"He was playing. He was driving, then he pulled over, and he stopped, " said Chehaw's Morgan Burnette. "When we first heard about, I think it was like with everyone else. It's like, what is going on?"
Pokemon Go may only be a few days old, but it has taken over Chehaw Park and many of its visitors.
"We've seen a ton of people coming in," said Burnette. "Whether they're members and it's just another asset to their membership and they're picking up on that, or there are people that haven't been here in a while."
Zookeeper Sarah McMullen says there are Pokemon all over the park. "This is a Pokemon that's popped up and he's actually in the playground. So I use my camera to follow him and then I'll throw Poke balls at him until I catch him."
One park visitor drove several miles just to catch Pokemon here. Burnette says they're seeing this game as an opportunity to help the park's bottom line.
"We have even gone as far to think about different Pokemon camps where we can work that into getting kids excited about these animal species like they are the Pokemon species."
But as more folks flock to the Poke Stop at the Zoo to "catch em all," Employees are warning those curious players not to go into forbidden territory.
"Don't cross zoo barriers. Bad things happen. Not only is it bad for the people who cross these barriers, it's really bad for our animals," said Burnette.
But if people follow the rules McMullen says the game is a win - win. You get out and about, meet other players, get your exercise, and explore what your town has to offer.
"There are a lot of things you can do besides catch Pokemon. So you can multi-task," McMullen said.
And for all you Pokemon trainers out there, the park has a new promotion this Saturday and Sunday. Free zoo admission for players level 5 and up.
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