There isn't a place in America that's safe from Pokémon Go. It's everywhere. Zoos are no exception. That's why Interpretive Zookeeper Anna Turkett has embraced the craze at the Birmingham Zoo. There, she's created Pokémon-themed signs for the animals, and they're fantastic.
Her particular position at the zoo has her both working as a zookeeper and communicating to the public in unique ways. That's why Turkett, the blogger behind Zookeeper Problems, made these tongue-in-cheek signs for some of the zoo's birds. "I’m a big nerd myself and love the game," she told Thrillist, "and I don’t want to discourage people from playing it or make them feel as if they aren’t enjoying the zoo properly just because they’re here to play Pokémon Go.
"This way they can feel good about having an awesome time playing the game and learn more about birds."
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"One couple saw the lorikeet sign in front of the exhibit and stopped playing Pokémon Go just to look at it and told me it was 'so cool!'," she said. "I’ve seen a lot of kids really enjoy the signs and many adults have connected with them as well. I’ll often see them on their phone playing the game, then notice the sign and get excited."
It's not the only time that Pokémon Go has been used for good, but another example of people making the most of the cultural moment to connect with people and places. She mentions at Zookeeper Problems that she hasn't released a template for the signs yet, but if Pokémon Go doesn't start to fade from public view, maybe she can share it with other zookeepers so there are some proper labels out there for that sleeping Snorlax polar bear that's just out of view.
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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.