The global game craze Pokemon Go and its digital blue creature Lapras is set to help solve the mystery of the Loch Ness monster.
The village of Dores, eight miles west of Inverness, and its Loch Ness sign have become a “pokestop” for hundreds of gamers flocking to the shores of the famous Loch in search of Nintendo generated monsters like Lapras.
But they have also been able to buy a Lapras lookalike from amateur monster hunter Steve Feltham as a souvenir of their electronic enquiries.
Steve today (MON) celebrates 25 years of Nessie hunting. For 15 of those years, he has been selling miniature monsters to fund his quest.
However, he was blissfully unaware that his Nessie was the double of Lapras, and gamers were eagerly snapping up his creation.
He said: “I hadn’t a clue what Pokeman Go was about or that Dores was included in the game.
“I saw all these people playing about with their mobile phones and I wondered what they were doing. Then someone explained to me, showed me Lapras and I did a double take.
“It looked just like my monster model. It is great that the game is creating more interest in the Loch by bringing people here hoping to spot a digital creature – and they may witness the real thing,” added Steve, who is still hoping for his first Nessie sighting.
Pokemon Go was launched in the UK on Thursday.
A smartphone update of the Nintendo Game Boy classic, it encourages players to catch monsters via a combination of GPS and augmented reality.
Gary Campbell, president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, said: “It’s amazing that Steve’s models were created long before Lapras and they should look so alike.
“Now we hope the interest in Pokemon Go might help find Nessie as it will draw more people to the shores of the Loch which will increase the chances of her being spotted.
“The game players will be taking screen shots of the characters at the Loch and this can only help to improve the chances of someone getting a photo of Nessie.
“Maybe Nintendo might even bring out a special Nessie Pokemon which they could place in Nessies Lair,” Gary added.