A baseball fan in the US was denied entry to a Philadelphia Phillies MLB game on September 27 when he tried to enter the stadium with his ’emotional support alligator’. BBC reported. The fan, identified as Joie Henney, arrived at Citizens Bank Park walking the alligator on a leash and was not allowed to enter the stadium. He claimed that the five-foot-long alligator named Wally helped him cope with his depression.
Emotional support alligator denied entry to Phillies game pic.twitter.com/Q7DC1qBcDm
— The Philly Captain (@philly_captain) September 27, 2023
”So we bought tickets and Wally also attended other baseball games, so we assumed it was okay. “We never asked or inquired, but they only allow service animals, such as dogs and horses, into the stadium, not ESA animals,” Mr Henney said. DailyExpertNews.
”Wally is an emotional support animal, not a service animal. People criticized me for not knowing the story behind everything… but when they came to tell us, there was no disagreement, no argument, no conflict at all. It was all good,” he added.
Several videos have emerged of Mr. Henney with the alligator outside the stadium.
Watch the videos here:
Mr Henney adopted Wally in 2015 when the alligator was about a year old. He said he was told about the reptile by his friend who rescued alligators in Florida. He told The Washington Post in August 2022 that he often cuddles the alligator and that they sleep in the same bed.
”Wally has been very different than any alligator I have dealt with in the past thirty years. He shows no anger. He shows no aggression. He hasn’t done that since the day he was caught. We could never understand why. He’s just sweet. He sleeps with me, steals my pillows, steals my blankets. He is just amazing,” Mr Henney said.
Remarkably, the animal even has many followers on social media and walks around in public on its custom-made leash.
Mr. Henney told it earlier The Philadelphia Inquirer that Wally helps him fight depression and that “he likes to give hugs.”
“I’ve never met an alligator that didn’t bite you. When you fool the head like that (Joe puts his hand in Wally’s mouth), their instinct is to grab you [with their teeth] – but he doesn’t do it,” Mr Henney said CBS Evening News last year.
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