Pokemon Go players chasing Seels scare real seals at island Pokestop
Published 10/08/2016 | 10:41
Pokemon Go players trying to catch "Seels" at a picturesque Pokestop have been disturbing real-life seals living on an island.
North Tyneside Council said grey seals on St Mary's Island off Whitley Bay were hauling back into the sea when they became distressed at the number of visitors.
The local authority has asked the app developer to remove the Pokestop which has attracted hundreds of players, or "trainers", to the island.
Seels are one of the dozens of Pokemon characters players try to catch.
In a response to a tweet complaining about the Pokestop being removed, North Tyneside Council said: "Pokemon trainers chasing virtual Seels were causing distress to the actual living seals."
And a spokesman said: "We have excellent staff at St Mary's Island who understand the nature of the animals that live there.
"They were concerned that the number of people attracted by Pokemon were causing seals to haul back into the sea due to distress.
"This issue is something that we have been working with conservation groups to avoid and while we recognise that the current Pokemon Go phenomenon provided many people with a lot of pleasure and increased footfall to a number of venues, St. Mary's Island is an area of natural beauty with significant wildlife.
"Our first priority must always be the safety and well-being of the seals on the island and in this instance, we feel that other locations would be more appropriate for Pokestops."