Niantic Support has taken to Twitter to explain why today's surprise Pokémon GO encounter with Zorua has been pulled from the game.
The Shuppet Spotlight Hour was to take place today between 18:00-19:00 local time, with the official game site teasing of a surprise: 'Bring your Buddy Pokémon to witness something special at the beginning and end of this Spotlight Hour!' While the Spotlight Hour itself will still go ahead, the 'something special' has been removed.
Those in Australia and New Zealand will have seen that the planned surprise was an encounter with Zorua, who would appear on the map disguised as your Buddy Pokémon. However, a bug in this encounter had the undesired effect of granting any Zouras the maintained CP, height and moveset of whichever 'mon they were disguised as.
In the short thread above, @NianticHelp explains that the Zorua encounters have been removed from the game while the team works to fix the problem. Those who were lucky enough to catch a beefed-up Zorua during the period will find that their privileges with the new addition will be substantially reduced, with the Dark-Type Pokémon not being allowed in the Battle League, sent to Pokémon HOME, or traded with other trainers.
There is currently no timeframe on the fix, so when Zorua will be added back into the game remains unclear. Until then, there were certain trainers who were lucky enough to make the most of the bug. @TravTheKiwi was evidently using a large Buddy Pokémon as their caught Zorua ended up weighing the best part of 750kg with a height of 4.35m - now that's a big fella.
The special surprise event is not set to reappear in other time zones until this bug is fixed. Shuppet's Spotlight Hour will continue to take place this evening, but don't go expecting any Buddy bonuses for the moment.