Girl walks an emotional support alligator on a leash at Philadelphia Park

Park-goers cooling off at a fountain at Love Park in Philadelphia on Friday got quite a shock when they encountered an alligator up close.

But the reptile, led by a young girl on a leash, was only trying to beat the heat under the refreshing jet of the fountain.

Wally the Alligator is the emotional support animal of Joie Henney, a Philadelphia man and longtime reptile rescuer who has worked with alligators for 30 years.

Video, taken by passers-by at the park over the weekend, shows the alligator strolling on its leash, greeting people and at one point lying on its stomach in a puddle to cool off.

Wally’s owner Henney, who was not far from his pet at the park that day, runs several social media accounts documenting the life of his beloved alligator with the help of his close friend Mary Johnson and her children.

“They just had a great time,” Henney told CNN. “People came as soon as they heard Wally was there to get a hug and take a picture with him.”

Joie Henney, a Philadelphia man and reptile rescuer who has worked with alligators for 30 years, took his alligator Wally for a walk at Love Park in Philadelphia on Friday

Joie Henney, a Philadelphia man and reptile rescuer who has worked with alligators for 30 years, took his alligator Wally for a walk at Love Park in Philadelphia on Friday

Wally the Alligator is walked on a leash by a young girl at Love Park in Philadelphia on Friday

Wally the Alligator is walked on a leash by a young girl at Love Park in Philadelphia on Friday

Wally’s performance at the park on Friday not only stunned viewers but also social media users, who later watched the video on WallyGator’s TikTok, which has amassed more than 122,000 views.

Most people were in awe of the reptile, while others questioned the safety of the animal walking through the park.

“Are you allowed to walk alligators in Philly?” one user asked, to which the account responded that law enforcement gave them the green light to go for a walk in the park.

“But so many skateboarders were arrested there,” complained another user.

One joked, “I would have bet this was in Florida.”

Many confused fans announced they were planning to travel to Philly to see Wally in action.

‘Okay, now I have to go to Phil’s just to see Wally!’ shouted one.

Wally came into Henney’s life seven years ago as a baby alligator when he was removed from a Florida lagoon due to an alligator overgrowth and another alligator rescue friend asked Henney for help.

“There was an abundance of alligators in this area,” Henney said, further explaining that in Florida so-called “nuisance alligators” needed to be either euthanized or placed in captivity.

Since then, the two have been inseparable.

Henney registered his alligator, Wally, as an emotional support pet in December 2018. Henney compares Wally to a dog, saying the alligator just wants to be

Henney registered his alligator, Wally, as an emotional support pet in December 2018. Henney compares Wally to a dog, saying the alligator just wants to be “loved and petted.”

Henney's Florida alligator rescue friend asked him if he wanted Wally back in 2015. Henney, who had a hunting and fishing TV show for a decade, said yes he wanted an alligator

Henney’s Florida alligator rescue friend asked him if he wanted Wally back in 2015. Henney, who had a hunting and fishing TV show for a decade, said yes he wanted an alligator

“Wally was unlike any alligator I’ve dealt with in 30 years,” Henney said. “He shows no anger. He shows no aggression. He hasn’t since the day he was caught. We could never understand why.

“He’s just adorable. He sleeps with me, steals my pillows, steals my blankets. He’s just great.’

In 2019, Henney was able to get Wally licensed as an emotional support animal.

The alligator gave him comfort when he was undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.

Wally was just over a year old and a foot and a half long when he arrived at Henney's home in 2015

The alligator is now three years old and measures four and a half feet long

Wally was just over a year old when he came home to Henney in 2015

Henney said he originally wanted to see if he could register Wally as a service animal after discovering its calming effects on people with developmental difficulties, but decided to register him as an emotional support animal

Henney said he originally wanted to see if he could register Wally as a service animal after discovering its calming effects on people with developmental difficulties, but decided to register him as an emotional support animal

“I was going through a really bad depression and he got me out of it,” Henney said of Wally in a previous interview. “My doctor wanted to give me medication for depression and I refused to take it.”

Instead, Wally was Henney’s medicine.

Henney claims alligators are easier to train than dogs, and he’s not worried about Wally biting anyone.

“Wally is the only alligator I’ve ever encountered that refuses to bite,” he said. “It’s amazing – just hard to believe.”

While emotional support pets may not get special privileges under federal law, Wally is allowed to go almost anywhere with Henney, except for a few restaurants, which have refused Wally’s presence, ostensibly for fear that the alligator could transmit salmonella.

The couple made headlines a year ago and have continued to film content for Wally’s TikTok and Instagram, along with the help of family friends.

Henney’s videos on social media have amassed around 3.7 billion views, and Wally currently runs America’s Favorite Pet Animal Kingdom, a competition that supports animal rescue and rehabilitation. The winner of the contest will receive $10,000.

Henney, who continues to battle cancer, also has a GoFundMe page to help defray the cost of caring for Wally and other reptiles in need.

Henney said Wally likes his head rubbed, just like a dog

Henney said Wally likes his head rubbed, just like a dog

Henney takes Wally to schools and senior centers for educational purposes. Wally is seen here on January 14, 2019 at the SpiriTrust Lutheran Village in Pennsylvania

Henney takes Wally to schools and senior centers for educational purposes. Wally is seen here on January 14, 2019 at the SpiriTrust Lutheran Village in Pennsylvania

Wally is quite content being kept as a traditional pet would be. Henney said Wally never bit him or tried to bite anyone else

Wally is quite content being kept as a traditional pet would be. Henney said Wally never bit him or tried to bite anyone else

Wildlife experts have been pushing for new laws banning alligators as pets, as they are often abandoned when they outgrow their owners to care for them.

Henney has previously said that in his alligator presentations, he emphasized that alligators don’t make good pets because they’re still wild animals.

But he adds that he hopes Wally’s story can help encourage people to “be nice to other people” and hopes it can “put a smile on people’s faces — this world is rough enough.” “.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11156717/Girl-walks-emotional-support-pet-alligator-leash-Philadelphia-park.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Girl walks an emotional support alligator on a leash at Philadelphia Park

Emma Colton

WSTPost is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@wstpost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button