Local officials advise Pokémon Go users to play safely

MIAMI (WSVN) - Everyone from police officers to zoo officials are releasing words of warning for Pokémon Go players after several have found themselves in danger while playing the virtual game.

The game has become a huge craze in a matter of days, and it is bringing a sense of nostalgia to those who played the original Pokémon game during childhood.

One child explained to 7News how to play Pokémon Go. “You get to run around,” he said. “You get eggs and potions.”

A man playing the game even fell into a pond in Brooklyn while playing the game. He put that video of him playing on YouTube, and it just may be a warning to obsessed gamers everywhere.

7News recruited Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill to go on our first hunt to catch some Pokémon around the zoo. “Oh, it’s there! See? I had to go over the fence,” Magill said.

Poor reception led the 7News crew down the wrong path within minutes.

Pokémon Go players have become a real concern for zoo officials across the country. “We don’t want someone searching for a Pokémon and finding a tiger,” Magill said.

The goal is to use with “Pokéballs,” with the help of a cellphone’s GPS, to locate and capture digital Pokémon characters who appear in real-world surroundings.

The City of Miami Police Department showed off their Poké-knowledge in an online video focused on safety tips. “Be very quiet, I think we found one,” the Miami PD officer said in the clip. “You can step into traffic and get hit by a car. Now, if I’m a bad guy, I know where to sit and wait for your children to arrive.”

Campus officials at Florida International University also released a warning on Facebook advising students to refrain from going too far.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful way to get them outdoors,” said mother Alice Aguililla.

While Miami-Dade parks welcome the phenomenon, they want to remind visitors of their park hours. “We have park hours. Most of them are sunrise to sunset,” said a zoo official.

Visitors past those hours are not welcome, especially after dark. Magill also wants to remind visitors to be mindful of the restricted areas. “If it says ‘do not enter,’ do not enter, even if the Pokémon is right over there,” Magill said.

Since the game can grab the gamers’ attention, they should be aware of their surroundings.

Safe and happy hunting!

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