Squirtles have been hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge. Bulbasaurs have been riding alongside real people on BART. And now, visitors to the the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens may just end up spotting Charmander on the back of a giraffe.
The zoo has joined the global Pokemon Go frenzy, and is welcoming anyone with paid admission to “catch them all” during their open hours seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There's one important caveat: "Guidelines should be followed to ensure pleasant experiences for both Pokémon GO patrons and Zoo guests visiting the real animals," the zoo said in a statement.
Pokémon Go has seemed to take the world by storm in the week since its release, with people hunting around for the virtual Pikachus in a driven attempt to catch all of the characters. The increasing popularity of this game has also lent itself to hundreds of events dedicated to bringing together fans to search for the Pokémon.
In the Bay Area alone, there are at least 10 events scheduled through the end of August, including a “Onesie Party” in the Chinatown area of San Francisco and a “Castro Gay Happy Hour Crawl.” About 24,000 people said they are interested in attending a San Francisco bar crawl scheduled for July 20, according to the Facebook event.
Outside of the Bay Area, gatherings surrounding the Pokémon craze have been even more varied. Portland is hosting a large-scale Pokémon “battle” on July 15, where the game’s three factions will vie for control of the Pokémon gym in that neighborhood. Hillary Clinton is even holding a campaign event at a Pokémon Go gym in Ohio on July 16, according to her campaign website.
Pokémon Go was released in the U.S. on July 6, and now holds the highest record in history for daily active users. Reeling in almost 21 million daily active users in the United States, as of Tuesday, Pokémon Go surpassed Candy Crush’s 20 million, becoming the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, according to a Survey Money Intelligence chart.