Update: IGN is reporting that Niantic sent them a statement confirming that the company has “revoked” Articunos from player accounts:
“We recently noticed that a few Legendary Pokemon got into a few accounts when they shouldn’t have, To preserve the game’s integrity and as a measure of fairness, we have rectified the situation and revoked the legendary Pokemon from the Trainers’ accounts.”
Original Story: Yesterday, a few Pokémon Go users reported that they had caught the legendary bird Articuno in the game, and even posted evidence that clearly showed the Pokémon in their possession. Now, developer Niantic has responded to the news, including one woman in Ohio who claimed the company gifted her the Articuno, and they say that they had nothing to do with any of it.
Niantic responded to Geek.com’s request for comment, with a spokesperson stating that the Articuno “was not from Niantic. It’s either a spoof or someone hacked the game,” adding that company is still “looking into it.” While it’s refreshing to see Niantic actually respond to something Pokémon Go related in a timely manner for once, there is still something suspicious going on with this whole story. For one thing, Kaitlyn Covey, the woman who claims she received her Articuno from Niantic, did a live stream with her husband showing off the Pokémon in-game, as well as the email that Niantic allegedly sent (although given that Articuno’s name is misspelled in the email, it’s pretty likely that it’s a fake).
Hopefully Niantic provides further clarification on this whole situation soon. Then again, they have so many fires to put out at this point, we’ll probably be waiting awhile for anything concrete. Until such time … let’s just hope this is a glitch and we all can get our hands on Articuno too!