Rare Pokemon Sparks Massive Stampede In Taiwan

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By: Kim Bellware

A fat and sleepy pocket monster prompted a weekend scene in Taiwan that resembled what you might imagine the Apocalypse to look like.

Pokemon Go trainers in the capital city of Taipei apparently caused a massive stampede on Saturday evening while trying to catch a Snorlax, one of the game's rarest characters.

The video, which has not been verified, purports to show Pokemon Go trainers, as players are called, snarling traffic trying to chase down the Snorlax in nearby Beitou Park.

Pokemon Go's popularity may be dwindling in the U.S. since its release in early July, but the game has only been available in Taiwan since August 6, according to the tech website Polygon.

The game's dedicated ― and distracted ― fans have frequently wandered into trouble in their pursuit of the pocket monsters.

At least 350 Taiwanese motorists have been fined for playing the game while on motorbikes since the game's release, according to Agence France-Presse.

"Catch the rare creatures, but don't let accidents catch up with you!" Taiwan's Premier Lin Chuan said via Facebook shortly after the game was released.

In the U.S., two California men fell off a cliff trying to catch Pokemon. In mid-July, New Yorkers caused a stampede in Central Park while ― much like their Taiwanese counterparts ― chasing an ultra-rare Pokemon.

This is how the world ends: not with a nuclear disaster or crater crashing into the earth, but with a stampede of Pokemon Go trainers.


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