2 people wandered into a heiau in search of Pokemon Go figures - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

2 people wandered into a heiau in search of Pokemon Go figures

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Apparently this needs to be said: It’s not appropriate to search for Pokemon in sensitive cultural sites.

Indeed, that's message the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is sharing with users of the viral Pokemon Go app in the wake of an incident this week.

Here's what happened, per a DLNR employee: “Two people searching for virtual reality Pokemon Go figures wandered into a sensitive heiau on Kauai, where a cultural protocol was underway.”

It isn't clear what the response to the two players was.

This certainly isn’t the first stumble – literal or otherwise – that Pokemon Go players have taken in recent days, amid a frenzy over the game that melds virtual reality with the real world.

But this is probably up there as among the more notable Pokemon Go user gaffes.

As DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case notes, “Unfortunately, we are quickly seeing unintended consequences of this new application by Google, in the outdoor issues that the hunt for Pokemon characters via digital devices can create, for both cultural and natural resources here in Hawaii and elsewhere.”

Curt Cottrell, state parks administrator, said while the app offers users a good opportunity to get outdoors, it’s also a good time to remind people about “outdoor ethics.”

Namely:

  • Use electronic devices responsibly. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.
  • Stay on designated trails. Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited. 
  • Carry out what you carry in.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources Hawaii has to offer,” Case said. “Given the release of Pokemon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way.”

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