Pokémon Go Players Are Actually Helping To Rescue Wildlife

Gotta help 'em all

A wild Pikachu

A wild Pikachu

This Pikachu, photographed in 2010, appears to be healthy.Sadie Hernandez

Many Pokémon are fashioned after real-life animals, so it's almost fitting that the insanely popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go is actually helping out some wildlife.

Writing for Atlas Obscura, Cara Giaimo reports that a lot of Pokémon Go players are rescuing animals, including baby bats, trapped ducklings, and abandoned hamsters.

Though it appears that the Pokémon Go players involved in the animal rescues acted responsibly, it bears repeating that just because you see an animal alone, that doesn't mean you should interfere. Earlier this year some well-meaning tourists took a bison calf into their car because they thought it was too cold. That animal was later rejected by its mother and had to be euthanized.

So if you do find an animal in distress, first take a minute to take stock of the situation. If you can, call an expert like a wildlife rehabilitator, a local veterinarian, or an animal hospital. If you're not sure what to do or how to assess the situation, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory has a good guide to help you determine whether an animal is in need of help, and the best methods to approach and transport that animal.