Girl Walks Emotional Support Gator At Philadelphia’s Love Park

@wallygatornjoie / Instagram

An extremely docile and friendly emotional support alligator named Wally got a lot of attention when he and its owner, Joie Henney, took a visit to Philadelphia’s Love Park.

“They just had a blast,” Joie said. “People came as soon as they heard Wally was there to get a hug and get a photo with him.”

Onlookers who spotted the unusual leashed pet started to gather around him, take pictures and post them on social media, along with his owner. Joie says he has documented his loving relationship with Wally for several years now and the animal loves to hug and kiss people.

The video showed a girl walking the gator on his leash through the water fountain as it was getting sprayed with water.


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Joie said that he rescued Wally six years ago when the lagoon he was in was getting all the alligators removed from it.

“There was an overabundance of gators in that area,” he said.

Joie has worked with alligators for 30 years and said he was contacted by a friend working in Florida about Wally and was told the gator would either be euthanized or transferred into captivity.

His friend brought the baby gator to Joie in Pennsylvania when Wally was just 20 inches long and a little over a year old. They’ve had a very unique relationship ever since.


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“Wally has been quite different than any alligator I’ve ever dealt with in the past 30 years,” said Henney. “He doesn’t show anger. He doesn’t show aggression. He hasn’t since the day he was caught. We never could understand why. He’s just loveable. He sleeps with me, steals my pillows, steals my blankets. He’s just awesome.”

Joie said Wally’s easygoing personality led him to get him registered as a licensed emotional support animal. He explained with emotion that the gator has bought him comfort as he has undergone radiation treatments for cancer.

Joie isn’t concerned one bit about the possibility of the alligator biting someone,

“Wally is the only gator I’ve ever been around that refuses to bite,” he said. “It’s mind-boggling — just hard to believe.”

More On Wally The Alligator In The Video Below

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