EDINBURGH Zoo has warned Pokémon Go hunters not to jump into animal enclosures as it prepares to host a special event for players of the hit game.
The attraction told gamers it won’t tolerate visitors hopping over fences or breaking past barriers while seeking out rare characters.
Officials also reminded players to make sure they’re aware of where they are – surrounded by dozens of lions, tigers and rhinos.
In advice issued ahead of next week’s Pokémon Go night, they said: “Although some animals may still be visible please note that all main and walk-through enclosures will be closed during this event.
“Please remain aware of your surroundings when playing Pokémon Go.
“Edinburgh Zoo will not tolerate anyone going over fences, past public barriers or behaving in an unsafe manner.”
The event comes just weeks after Edinburgh Zoo was voted one of the top ten attractions in the UK to find rare Pokémon.
Taking full advantage of the app’s popularity, event organisers set up a free evening so that Pokemasters, over the age of 16, could hunt down the virtual monsters.
But the app has not always mixed well with zoos.
Two Pokémon Go players were arrested at Toledo Zoo in Ohio for “criminal trespassing” last month after being spotted climbing over a fence near the zoo’s tiger enclosure in the search for monsters.
Advertising its event, Edinburgh Zoo said: “On Wednesday, August 17 we will open our gates from 6pm to 8pm for Pokemasters. It’s an amazing opportunity to spend the summer evening catching Pokémon at Edinburgh Zoo.
“From Abra to Zubat come explore our 2 Gyms and over 20 Pokestops. Keepers will be placing lures throughout the night – gotta catch ’em all!”
Although the event is free, a suggested £5 donation was advised.
Barbara Smith, interim CEO of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is officially the top attraction in Scotland at which to catch rare Pokémon characters.
“It seems especially fitting that in amongst our own endangered animals, there are rare virtual creatures hiding too.
“Pokémon being present in such abundance at the zoo has given our visitors another added attraction.”
Pokémon Go has captured the imagination of millions around the world since its release earlier this year. The app has come under fire however, with gamers accused of showing disrespect after hunting down characters at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Zoo said: “The safety advice issued on our website is part of our standard health and safety protocols which apply to any visit to Edinburgh Zoo.
“As is the case with any event held at the zoo, thorough risk assessments have been carried out to ensure the safety of both our visitors and animals.”